SME R&D funding maximum boosted 20 fold

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SME R&D funding maximum boosted 20 fold

Research funding for smaller companies is being increased 20 fold, and the duration of the support is being tripled.

The government will provide a maximum 2 billion won ($1.6 million) over three years to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), up from the previous 100 million won for one year.

“As we have learned from Japan’s export restrictions, the technological power that SMEs build could determine a country’s competitiveness,” said Park Young-sun, minister of SMEs and startups, adding that the innovative research and development (R&D) plan is designed to “effectively” support SMEs that have “silently” built their technologies.

“Through the new support, it will be possible to localize hydrogen fluoride this year,” Park said.

The minister said that in the past the R&D support was executed in a “top-down” fashion. But now, the government is raising effectiveness through precision support by scouting out industries that need funding.

“By increasing the size of investment, innovative SMEs will be able to make bold challenges,” Park said.

The R&D investment will be granted according to the stage of the start-up. About 100 million won will be provided to early-stage companies.

Government R&D support will be raised to a maximum 1 billion won for two to three years for companies with technologies validated in the market.

The government will offer a maximum of 2 billion won for three years to help companies that have succeeded in their R&D to secure a market lead.

The government additionally plans to invest 200 billion won or more annually in 20 fourth industrial revolution technologies, including system semiconductors, biopharmaceuticals and artificial intelligence.

The government is increasing its R&D support for the localization of key materials and components whose importance has been heightened since Japan started restricting the export of three key materials.

The government will push for expanding R&D cooperation among companies, research institutions and universities, and it will roll back regulations that limit conglomerates from increasing investment.

BY LEE HO-JEONG, PARK MIN-JE [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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