LG Chem to invest $1.5 billion this year

2015_01_LGSouth Korea’s top chemical firm LG Chem aims for resurgence with the aggressive investment plan for this year. According to the chemical company on Tuesday, it is planning to invest a total of 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) in major businesses such as petrochemical, information and electronic materials and li-ion batteries this year. The amount of investment is an increase of 13.3 percent from last year’s 1.5 trillion won.

By sector, the company would invest 730 billion won in adding production lines, 300 billion won in research and development and 760 billion won in the existing businesses. If investment in fixed assets and separate personnel expenses are included, research & development investment would climb to a total of 610 billion won. The figure is up 20 billion won from last year. Eyes are on the aggressive investment plan by LG Chem especially as most chemical and oil refining companies are considering freezing or scaling back investment this year.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Hyundai Motor to invest 73 billion USD by 2018

2013_02_Hyundai FCEVHyundai Motor Group, the world’s fifth-largest automaker, said Tuesday it would invest about 81 trillion won ($73 billion) over the next four years to improve facilities, expand production lines, develop core technologies for smart and green cars, and construct its headquarters building. Under the investment road map, the automaker is expected to spend an annual average of 20.2 trillion won through 2018, which would surpass its previous high of 14.9 trillion won in 2014.Hyundai Motor’s new investment plan came one day after President Park Geun-hye called on conglomerates to expand investments in order to bring about an economic turnaround.

It will spend 31.6 trillion won on research and development projects. The large-scale R&D investments are aimed at obtaining key technologies needed to produce eco-friendly and smart vehicles, which are expected to see intensified competition, according to the group. Regarding investments in future car development projects, the company will invest 11.3 trillion won by 2018 to develop eco-friendly vehicles such as hybrid electric cars and fuel cell vehicles. Talent acquisition is also a crucial part of Hyundai Motor’s new investment plan. The company will hire 7,345 R&D specialists over the next four years.

For full article, see Korea Herald.

Big Biz gives up on basic research

“Corporate research institutes nowadays are reducing mid- to long-term projects and have started reassigning researchers into business departments,” said a researcher in his 40s who is employed at Samsung. “I wanted to pursue my research career in a more stable environment, so I applied to the ETRI despite the lower annual salary it offers.”

Conglomerates are under increasing pressure to find the next-generation hit product. That leads them away from mid- to long-term research and development (R&D) projects. In such a fast-changing market, companies like Samsung, LG and SK are trimming their long-term R&D departments.

Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), located in Yongin, southern Gyeonggi, was the birthplace of key semiconductor and smartphone technologies. It mainly researches next-generation products that could be profitable years down the line. In September last year, SAIT started downsizing its research workforce of 1,500 researchers with doctorate and master’s degrees by 50 percent. The researchers are being relocated to Samsung’s other research institutes that study the commercialization of almost-completed technologies, including a mobile handset research center and an electronics material research complex.

“SAIT studies technologies that will nurture the ‘seed industries,’ which will be Samsung’s leading business,” an official from Samsung Group said. “This is simply a reshuffle of research workforce, moving them a step closer to the business departments as their key projects have matured to be commercialized soon.”

For full article, see Joongang Daily.

Samsung Electronics ranks no. 2 in terms of R&D investment worldwide

Samsung Electronics turns out to have spent the second highest amount of money for research & development (R&D) among global companies. A management consulting company Booz & Company announced the results of its analysis on global companies’ R&D spending trend on October 24.Volkswagen came on top with US$11.4 billion, while Samsung Electronics ranked No. 2 with $10.4 billion.

Samsung Electronics moved up by four notches from No. 2 this year from No. 6 last year. Following Samsung Electronics are Roche with $10.2 billion, Intel with $10.1 billion, and Microsoft with $9.8 billion. Toyota was positioned at No. 6 with $9.8 billion, followed by Novatis with $9.3 billion, and Merck with $8.2 billion.

Source: Korea IT Times.

Korea ranks the second among OECD countries for R&D investment to GDP ratio

Korea’s R&D (research & development) scale was found to be in the top level among those of OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. On the 24th, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced the presentation of a report titled “OECD Science, Technology and Industry Score Board’ at the ‘OECD Global Forum on the Knowledge Economy’ held in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to the report, Korea was ranked the second in terms of the ratio of R&D intensity to GDP and the ratio of R&D investment by private companies to GDP. In the last report published in 2011, Korea was ranked the fourth in both categories. In addition, Korea was ranked the fourth in terms of the government’s private R&D subsidy and tax support scale to GDP ratio.

Korea recorded 4.03% in the ratio of total R&D investment to GDP, and thus is only 0.35% behind the top-ranking Israel (4.38%). Finland and Japan, the third and the fourth countries, recorded 3.78% and 3.39% respectively.

For full article, see Korea IT News.

Agriculture ministry develops plan for fostering R&D

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said Monday it developed a mid to long-term research and development (R&D) plan to foster technologies in the agriculture and food sector. The plan aims to increase value-added effects three percent a year and help South Korea export agricultural products worth $15 billion by 2022.

The ministry selected four major areas for investment in response to the criticism that previously it made small R&D investments scattering across too many areas. The four major areas are: enhancing global competitiveness; creating new growth engine; stable food supply, and; strengthening public happiness. The agricultural ministry designated 50 core technologies that would help tackle key issues that affect the public on the ground and achieve agricultural industry’s goals.

To invest in the 50 technologies, the ministry intends to switch from the prior small-scale investments worth one billion won ($869,975) each, covering an extensive spectrum, to large investments worth 10 billion won each focused on several areas.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

R&D related imports for reduced customs duties adjusted

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance has adjusted the number of items that may qualify for the 80 percent R&D-related Customs Duties Reduction and these changes will take effect beginning in July. The R&D Related Customs Duties Reduction is aimed at encouraging corporate R&D activities by granting an 80 percent customs duties reduction when corporations with research centers import goods for research purposes.

The number of items that qualify for the customs duties reduction will be reduced from 261 to 220, with 33 items newly added and 74 removed. The adjustment was made to reflect demand changes and FTA tariffs. The government is expecting the adjusted customs duties reduction will help promote corporate R&D activities. New items will include devices necessary for developing semiconductor- or electronic parts-related products, such as digital microscopes, balance machines and flatness inspection.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Goverment to raise share of R&D budget for SMBs to 18 pct by 2017

????³?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????­????????????????????????­????????­??³????É??????????­????????????????????­??????????????³?????????????The South Korean government determined to allocate a higher share of its total budget for research and development (R&D) to small-sized and mid-sized companies over the next five years. The share will go up 4.4 percentage points to 18.0 percent by 2017.

The government also decided to increase R&D investment in sectors that deal with the aging, disabilities, diseases, tourism, education and social services as their performance is highly linked to the public’s quality of life.

Such decision was reached at a meeting of national science and technology evaluation committee convened by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning Wednesday.

In a bid to promote a science and technology-based creative economy and bring happiness to people, the ministry proposed four major goals of supporting R&D so that it can 1) bolster a creative economy; 2) bring happiness to people; 3) enhance key capacities for innovative and creative science and technology, and 4) improve the government’s R&D investment system.

For full article, see Maeil Business.

Korean companies’ R&D investment set to rise this year: survey

South Korean companies are likely to increase their investment in research and development (R&D) this year, according to a survey conducted and released by the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy (MKE) and Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) Sunday.

The survey selected the nation’s 1,000 largest investor companies in R&D with stratified sampling method, and 334 companies of them responded. The top 1,000 investors make 82.6 percent of the nation’s total R&D.

The respondents were planning to make R&D investments totaling 10.30 trillion won ($9.45 billion) this year and the average investment per company stood at 30.83 billion won.

For full article, see Maeil Business.