Plans for future growth engines get fleshed out

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Plans for future growth engines get fleshed out

The government yesterday unveiled detailed plans to nurture smart cars, 5G mobile communication and intelligent robots as the next generation of economic growth engines that will help the nation reach a national per capita GDP of $40,000 by 2020.

At a ministerial meeting on economic affairs held yesterday, three government ministries started a joint project to create a business ecosystem specifically for smart cars and the basic infrastructure needed for them to work.

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is working to construct a software platform that can control automated transportation systems, while the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy will invest in R&D projects for auto-driving car parts. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport will take charge of revising policies and regulations that are applied to traffic systems and vehicles.

After the Korean government took a more aggressive approach to joint R&D projects with the European Union in 5G communication technologies, the Science Ministry vowed to nurture the domestic industry ecosystem by expanding small and midsize companies’ participation in 5G technology projects to 40 percent from the current 25 percent in an effort to broaden development.

The ministry hopes to commercialize a 5G communication network by 2020. To achieve that goal, the government plans to use a budget of 1.6 trillion won ($1.56 billion) by 2020.

The ministry projects that Korea will be able to earn sales of about 331 trillion won in the first seven years of a 5G network’s commercialization through exports and domestic sales of hardware, devices and network operating facilities. The ministry expects the local mobile telecom market will expand up to 68 trillion won.

Cognitive robots were also picked as a core future industry requiring investment and research. The government hopes the local robot market will reach 9.7 trillion won by 2020.

Korea is also focusing on disaster response robots and health care and medical assistance robots. In an effort to accelerate commercialization of the robots, the Science Ministry will take charge of supplying technical and research facilities to small robot start-ups and robot parts manufacturers. The government will also cover a part of prototype production costs.

The Science Ministry, the government arm responsible for technology, will take charge of leading R&D projects with small and midsize parts and material manufacturers to give necessary technology training to their workers and to create more joint technology R&D programs with other countries.

BY kim ji-yoon [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]




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