Korea and France join forces on futuristic R&D

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Korea and France join forces on futuristic R&D

The governments of Korea and France decided to conduct jointly funded R&D projects to develop software and parts for driverless cars, wearable devices and digital medical devices.

The projects will start next year with 3 billion won ($2.7 million) from the two countries and 10.3 billion won from the European Commission’s Eureka program fund.

More than 200 government officials, researchers and private sector executives from Korea and France participated in a forum Monday in southern Seoul to discuss the details and project schedules.

“Open innovation through international technology cooperation is a must to survive in a time when global technology competition is heated than ever before,” said Hwang Gyu-yeon, assistant minister of industrial creativity and innovation at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

“So far, the Korea-France relationship was mainly based on Korea’s unilateral importing of advanced technologies,” he added. “But through today’s cooperation, I hope the two countries can benefit from each other’s technological strengths.”

Through the joint R&D projects, the two countries hope to become market leaders in the new business areas. The projects will be successful with Korea’s strong information and communications technologies (ICT) and manufacturing technologies, and France’s wide pool of basic science and source technologies create synergy, said the assistant ministers at the forum.

Three working groups of scholars and private companies were formed in each of the three areas.

Korean auto parts and telecom device developers including LG Electronics, Renault Samsung Motors and Hyundai Mobis, and Renault Motors from France, will jointly develop radar and communication modules, key parts of driverless cars.

Researchers from Korea’s state-run Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Geneva-based STMicroelectronics agreed to participate in a joint project to develop a system semiconductor required in communication among wearable mobile devices and a central processing chip in cars.

Korea’s top medical schools, including Seoul National University Hospital and Yonsei Medical School, and French health care software developer Voluntis will jointly develop personalized medicine, consisting of treatment regimens based on genetic traits, DNA analytics technology and a big data management system that can quickly analyze each patient’s genetic information.

BY KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]
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