Cut the red tape

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Cut the red tape

The legislature is working on a law to remove the red tape that hampers development and commercialization of innovative ideas and technology. The new law would fast-track the introduction and marketing of new technologies in promising areas. The law was proposed by Saenuri Party Rep. Lee Hahn-koo, who heads the National Assembly’s special committee on creative economy.

Technology innovations have to break through myriad regulations in order to see light of day in Korea. One is the unmanned driving system. Companies around the world have been in a race to develop autonomous vehicles, or robotic driving systems, that could help disabled or elderly people maintain their independence

But driverless cars cannot be tested on roads here due to traffic regulations. Current road and traffic law prohibits any system of transportation that is not operated by a person. Without a revision of road regulations, no innovative technologies that can replace drivers can be commercialized.

The special law would make legal exceptions for technology and innovation with promising prospects for business growth and new industries. There are many types of technologies that cannot even get out of the lab and go into further stages of development because of laws in a wide range of fields. An autonomous car is a combination of information and telecommunications technology (ITC), robotics and automotive expertise.

Telemedicine and a smartphone-based health care services system are crosses between ITC and the medical industry. The technology can neither be categorized under one specific law nor made a special case under a variety of regulations. A special law would be the best means to clear the path for commercially promising innovations.

The role of the National Assembly is to pave the way for the growth of new industries and job creation. We hope lawmakers will expedite the fast-track law and ensure that the road ahead is clear so the country can make strides as an innovation powerhouse.

JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 8, Page 30

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