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Minister Lee holds 1st Industrial Technology CTO Roundtable 2022-06-17

Trade, Industry and Energy Minister Lee Chang-yang held the 1st Industrial Technology CTO Roundtable on June 16 at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to gather opinions of Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) from semiconductor, secondary battery, robot, mobility and other major technology sectors, as Korea’s R&D investment approaches KRW 110 trillion.

At the roundtable, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) announced the “new regime’s industrial technology innovation strategies” for realizing a “private-led, government-backed dynamic economy” and discussed improvement measures with the CTOs present.

The abovementioned “new regime’s industrial technology innovation strategies” are as follows.

First, in order to stimulate the innovation of new, “high-risk” industries where private investment is relatively static, MOTIE will be rolling out ten “Mega Impact” goal-oriented projects over the next five years. Mega Impact Projects aim to take on big economic, social projects like “K-Semiconductor,” hydrogen economy and future mobility.

For R&D to bear its ultimate fruit of commercialization, a pre-analysis of patents, standards and regulations are to be incorporated into project tasks. A trillion won industrial technology innovation fund will be set up for investing in technology business incubation and such commercialization processes.

Second, the strategy entails transforming Korea into a “first mover” instead of “fast follower.” This requires the creation of a “disruptive & drastic innovation R&D project” to support the development of new projects and services.

Accordingly, the Alchemist Project kicked off this year with three new themes, including reverse aging and hyper vision metaverse, which will again expand to 12 selected themes through a competition-style program funding a total of KRW 414.2 billion by 2031.

Third, the “tech value chain” would need to be newly assembled for accumulation and utilization of human resources and physical assets, while also enhancing analysis and feedback on R&D outcomes.

Fourth, relevant divisions are to consider doubling the current KRW 50 billion R&D pre-feasibility study to KRW 100 billion in order to deregulate the R&D execution process. This includes eliminating overlapping projects and lowering companies’ self-funding rate from 50% to 33%.

Fifth, international joint R&D projects are to be expanded from the current 2% level to 15% by 2025.

Lastly, companies, supporting institutions and the Government are to form a dynamic technology innovation alliance to upgrade the industrial technology R&D mechanism through system improvement and commercialization assistance.

Minister Lee stated that “this roundtable meeting was meaningful in that the core industries’ CTOs and government personnel gathered to discuss directions for technological innovation for Korea’s economy and growth” and added that the Government will continue to “fully support the prompt implementation of innovation strategies and large-scale programs through close communication with industries.”

MOTIE will be holding the roundtable on a quarterly basis to promote organic ties between actual technology industry sites and innovation policies. From the second roundtable and thereafter, a broader range of technologies and innovation issues will be covered, including intellectual property and technology commercialization.