IT innovation hub offers up 24-hour use in Gangnam

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IT innovation hub offers up 24-hour use in Gangnam

A digital innovation center that will house IT development and software institutes of Korea and Germany opened on Friday in southern Seoul’s Gangnam District, bringing to Seoulites an innovation hub comparable to Google’s Campus Seoul, which will be open to the public 24 hours a day.

“It’s not simply a lab for IT entrepreneurs, but a research space to study big data to solve the city’s problems as well as a training center for those planning to open an IT start-up,” said Seo Dong-rok, head of the Economic Planning Headquarters of Seoul Metropolitan Government. “The place is a comprehensive digital complex.”

The complex, named the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park, stretches out over a 16,077 square-meter (3.9 acre) area, where the Japanese School in Seoul used to stand. Seoul city government began renovating the area last year and completed the project this September. It now holds three centers - a global networking center, a start-up support center and a creative education center.

The digital innovation complex, managed by the Seoul Digital Foundation of the city government, will house international labs and research institutes.

The complex will hold a lab to collect and study big data on Seoul, which is expected to open early next year and will be run by the city government and Seoul National University’s Big Data Institute. Seoul city government will provide big data on the city’s environment, development and traffic. The lab will be open to middle and high school students for visits and career training programs in IT development.

The German software application company SAP, which stands for Systems, Applications and Products, will be entering the center next March to run software application and user-experience design education programs. SAP will also run a program called Design Thinking to educate and train women whose careers were interrupted for various social and economic reasons on user experience and innovation.

D-Camp, an innovation hub for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs based in Gangnam and run by Banks Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs, will also be opening an office at the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park in December. The office will assist entrepreneurs in opening start-ups and attracting investments and will run a training center for entrepreneurs and IT developers.

BY ESTHER CHUNG, CHO HAN-DAE [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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