Cultivating creative content

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Cultivating creative content

One day, a scientist went to see a movie. He watched “Minority Report,” starring Tom Cruise. The protagonist controls virtual floating screens with his fingers. The scientist made up his mind to realize the technology from the sci-fi movie. He got together with colleagues, and after years of research and experimenting, his team was successful.

It may sound like a scientist’s dream, but it actually happened at the MIT Media Lab, a world-class “idea power plant.” The Media Lab is an internationally renowned convergence technology institute established within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since it was founded in 1985, the Media Lab has proposed a new model of collaboration between industries and academia and is considered a notable success case that leads creative industries. Concepts like virtual reality, 3-D holograms, and ubiquitous and wearable computers were all conceived here.

The content industry is just as celebrated as a future growth engine and key axis of the creative economy as cutting-edge convergence technologies. As of 2012, the size of the content industry market is 1.5 quadrillion won ($1.37 trillion) worldwide, and the domestic market is estimated to be nearly 100 trillion won this year. The industry also creates jobs. The employment coefficient of the contents industry is 12.0, significantly higher than the semiconductor market’s 4.9 and automobile’s 7.2. Also, it’s an idea-driven field with low entry barriers, posing relatively easy start-up opportunities for young people. However, individual content providers remain small and lack a work force and the know-how to advance to overseas markets.

On May 27, the Contents Korea Lab (CKL) was officially inaugurated. It is one of the solutions the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Creative Content Agency, industry insiders and experts have come up with to provide an environment to nurture small yet powerful content companies and enhance global competitiveness. The CKL aspires to be a creative space for freedom and vision in the content area, just as the MIT Media Lab is for advanced technology.

As a creative cultural content business hub, the CKL not only brings together cultural genres such as fine art, games, film, music and fashion but also facilitates collaborative projects of content, information and communication technology. From the conception of ideas, mentoring is offered, and assistance in funding, commercialization and global advancement is provided. The government is to establish a total of 11 CKLs around the country by 2017. Just as the MIT Media Lab changed the vision of future technology and the topography of the global economy, the CKL hopes to contribute to shifting the center of the global content industry to Korea.

by Hong Sang-pyo President of the Korea Creative Contents Agency
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