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South Korean government launches a new strategy to promote innovative growth

South Korea
Written by
Yulchon LLC, one of Korea’s top law firms.
This article provides an overview of new policies to promote technological development in South Korea in order to enhance innovative growth.

On 25 January 2018 the Korean government released an ‘innovative growth’ report, prepared jointly by six governmental entities (the ‘Joint Report’). In the Joint Report, the government unveiled policies to promote technological development with the aim of enhancing innovative growth. The government named 13 sectors, which it plans to promote and categorised these 13 sectors into the following four main groups:

Intelligent infrastructure

1. Big data

2. Artificial intelligence

3. 5G networks and Internet of Things (‘IoT’)

Smart transportation

4. Self-driving vehicles

5. Drones

Combined services

6. Personalized healthcare

7. Smart city

8. Augmented/virtual reality

9. Intelligent robot

Industrial foundation

10. Intelligent semi-conductors

11. Advanced materials

12. Innovative medicine

13. New and renewable energy

The Joint Report was prepared by the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Financial Services Commission, and the Office for Government Policy Coordination.

The plan is to promote innovative growth in each of these 13 sectors by introducing customised strategies for each. The customised strategies include support for early commercialisation as well as for the development of original technology.

Accordingly, the government plans to support early commercialisation in the self-driving vehicle, big data, personalised healthcare, smart city, augmented/virtual reality, new and renewable energy, intelligent robot and drone sectors.

At the same time, there will be support for the development of original technology in the 5G network, IoT, advanced materials, intelligent semi-conductors, innovative medicine and artificial intelligence sectors.

The new policies outlined in the Joint Report were developed, in part, due to growing concern that various regulations have restricted the expansion and utilisation of new technologies in Korea, which could limit the country’s economic growth in the long run. The government plans to provide support for the broader use of products and technologies for public use, such as the wider use of drones in the public sector (e.g. delivery of mail) and the introduction of autonomous bus services in certain regions.

The six government entities that were involved in the preparation of the Joint Report indicated that each will develop detailed implementation plans for each of the 13 sectors identified in the Joint Report. We will continue to monitor this issue and provide updates with developments.