R&D cooperation with Germany to increase

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R&D cooperation with Germany to increase

Korea and Germany on Tuesday agreed to cooperate on more research and development (R&D) programs starting next year to develop key industrial materials and equipment to cope with growing competition in the global market.

The agreement came as Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo met his German counterpart Peter Altmaier in Berlin to discuss ways to expand industrial ties between the two countries.

They vowed to “continuously expand the size” of their joint R&D programs down the road, with a goal of having materials and equipment segments account for more than 50 percent of such projects, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

The portion marks a sharp increase from 33 percent posted in 2019.

“Seoul and Berlin both acknowledged that new industries must be supported by materials and parts segments and agreed to strategically expand their collaboration in research projects,” the ministry added.

The two also plan to sign a joint declaration of intent in the near future, which centers on establishing a channel in which they can further promote cooperation in the materials and parts industries.

In line with the move, the state-run Korea Electronics Technology Institute signed a memorandum of understanding with Fraunhofer, a leading application-oriented research organization of Germany, to carry out joint research projects in the displays segment.

The automobile manufacturers’ associations of the two countries also vowed to join forces in studying electric vehicles and the self-driving car industry as well, according to the ministry.

Korea has been making efforts to beef up its materials and equipment industries after Japan implemented export curbs of key industrial materials starting in July.

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