Boeing to open a local R&D center this yearBoeing plans to establish a new research center in Korea to work on technologies for its future aerospace products, including artificial intelligence, a smart cabin system and even autonomous driving.
According to the U.S. aircraft manufacturer on Wednesday, it is in discussion with the Korean government over the center. The location has not been announced, but the company said it plans to staff the center with locally hired experts when it opens this year.
“Korea is home to premier talent and industrial partners, as well as policies that foster innovation development,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer. “These factors combine to make Korea an ideal collaborator on aerospace innovations that will change the world.”
Boeing Korea President Eric John said the center “will serve as a great test bed for Boeing to collaborate and develop future technologies with many leading organizations in Korea.”
The aircraft maker’s Korean unit was established in 1988 and currently employs more than 200 people across nine cities including Seoul, Incheon and Busan. The company said that Korea is one of its top-10 largest international markets and partnerships in both the commercial airplane and defense markets have helped support the growth of Korea’s aerospace industry.
The Korean research center will become Boeing’s twelfth, including five in the U.S. and six centers abroad. In Asia, Boeing’s centers are in China and India.
A spokesperson from Boeing said Korea’s selection shows how important the market has become for Boeing in terms of its size and the technological infrastructure it offers.
When Darren Hulst, managing director for market analysis and sales support at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, visited Seoul for a press briefing last week, he had said Korea accounts for more than 10 percent of the company’s business in Asia and added the hub status of Incheon International Airport would contribute to growth by Korean airlines.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [email@example.com]