GIST and Microsoft team up to support small companiesA Korean state-run science university and Microsoft said Monday that they will join forces to help local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expand into overseas markets.
Under the arrangement that is part of the larger Microsoft-Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) program, a total of 6.15 billion won ($5.2 million) has been earmarked this year to assist startups specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) said.
"GIST will handle local investment, technology transfer and personnel training, with Microsoft tasked with offering know-how in product development, consulting and securing U.S. investment," the university said.
It said some 30 SMEs with growth potential in AI will likely receive support this year, with an average of 170 million won being provided to each firm. Those with distinct growth potential can receive up to 400 million won for two years, with the money to be used for related research and development.
The support offered by the program is expected to help Korean companies accelerate their technological growth, help secure investments and make it possible for them to go abroad, GIST said.
Related to the latest joint effort, the school, which has been at the forefront of helping tech SMEs, said that it has provided support to 16 companies over the past five years and secured various investments totaling 20 billion won as of 2019.