Doosan opens South Gyeongsang creative center

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Doosan opens South Gyeongsang creative center

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Doosan Group Chairman Park Yong-maan shows President Park Geun-hye the conglomerate’s design for the world’s largest seawater desalination plant in Saudi Arabia, at the Science and Technology Promotion Agency in Changwon, South Gyeongsang province, on Thursday. Doosan is the ninth conglomerate to join a government campaign to build a more creative economy. [Joint Press Corps]

Doosan Group on Thursday opened the doors of the nation’s ninth innovation center in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, to support the government’s creative economy initiative.

The 1,560-square-meter (16,791-square-foot) South Gyeongsang Creative Innovation Center will focus on developing smart machines and the water-processing industry.

South Gyeongsang produces 30 percent of the country’s machines and parts. The province is home to production lines and R&D centers of Doosan affiliates, including Doosan Heavy Industries and Doosan Infracore.

Doosan Heavy holds the world’s leading seawater processing and sewage treatment technologies, with cumulative exports of 1 trillion won ($915.5 million).

Doosan and the government will cooperate on R&D projects that focus on converging ICT with existing machinery to accelerate development of smart factories in various industries.

Doosan and the government hope this will revitalize the Korean machinery industry, which has been hit hard by Chinese competitors with cheap prices and advanced technologies.

President Park Geun-hye and about 150 government officials, lawmakers and businesspeople, including South Gyeongsang Gov. Hong Joon-pyo and Doosan Group Chairman Park Yong-maan, attended the opening of the center located in the Gyeongnam Changwon Science and Technology Promotion Agency.

“South Gyeongsang has been central to Korea’s steel technologies since ancient times, and the nation’s modern economy was been built by the strong machinery industries in Changwon,” said Park. “Machine industries are in a time of technological transition, as ICT development has led to the pursuit of smart machines. I hope the Changwon center again will serve as a new paradigm for the Korean manufacturing industry.”

Doosan and the government established a 170 billion won fund to help finance 800 small machinery and parts manufacturers, and smart machinery start-ups in the province over next five years.

In addition, Doosan created a 50 billion won fund to help retired technology professionals establish start-ups and hire young engineers in the region.

Under Doosan Heavy’s leadership, the center will work on developing software platforms and mobile applications to remotely monitor water purification and power plants, and seawater purification equipment.

In another project, the company will build an artificial intelligence-enabled production machine with Changwon University and South Gyeongsang-based ICT start-ups.

The Changwon center will begin a drone development project in association with Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) and 14 small technology companies in Changwon.

In addition, KAI will work with suppliers to produce parts for its flagship Surion helicopter.

Doosan, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and their South Gyeongsang-based suppliers will collaborate on R&D projects to produce special materials and vessel parts that can endure extreme weather conditions.

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

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