IFEZ leads the charge to foster more innovation

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IFEZ leads the charge to foster more innovation

Incheon Startup Park provides startups with a stepping stone for innovative growth. [IFEZ]

Incheon Startup Park provides startups with a stepping stone for innovative growth. [IFEZ]

 
As the focus of government policy shifts toward innovative growth, the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) is taking steps to create a stable ecosystem where innovation can blossom to its full potential.
 
In line with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s agenda on the Free Economic Zone, IFEZ is focusing on facilitating innovative growth for the specialized industry. IFEZ aims to promote cooperation between various organizations and to improve support systems in terms of business, training and networking.
 
Moreover, IFEZ will encourage regional innovation organizations to participate in the 2021 Free Economic Zone Innovation Ecosystem Creation Program led by the trade ministry with a goal of building a foundation for innovative clusters and enhancing corporate business capabilities.  
 
Meanwhile, the IFEZ Business Center officially opened its door last October, after two months of test operations. During the last four months, the IFEZ Business Center has been accelerating innovative growth for tenant companies by leading industry development, supporting corporations and attracting investments.
 
Incheon Startup Park is continuing its success on establishing a cooperative system among start-ups. As the largest platform for start-up support in Korea, Incheon Startup Park nurtures innovative ventures in industries which are leading the Fourth Industrial Revolution, such as artificial intelligence. This year, the Incheon Startup Park is aiming for international expansion through global partnership, getting closer to its vision of creating a Korean version of Silicon Valley.
 
Launched last year, the Incheon Startup Park has established the basis for a corporate support process and cooperative system. Shinhan Financial Group and Celltrion are the private operators, while Incheon International Airport Corporation, the National IT Industry Promotion Agency and the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute came forward as cooperative partners. The Incheon Startup Park is also strengthening its industry-academic cooperation with five universities.  
 
A start-up-nurturing program, first kicked off last June, is also sailing smoothly. More than 200 companies participated across four business sectors and the program attracted investments worth some nine billion won ($8 million). There have been more than 100 patent applications and registrations with about 250 people newly employed. The program’s huge success is building up momentum for the upcoming projects.
 
“S²(Shinhan Square) Bridge: Incheon” is a private-driven program connected to Incheon Startup Park. S² Bridge launched its first membership last November, which incorporates three tracks focusing on incubation, acceleration and global market expansion, respectively.
 
Eighty-four companies enrolled in the membership.
 
“POOM,” on the other hand, is a government-driven program operated by Incheon Technopark. It successfully wrapped up its first-year projects and plans to get into its stride this year.
 
Its flagship programs such as substantiation support project, Scale-up Challenge Lab and Booster Startup Program will be open for applications this coming March.
 
Furthermore, the Incheon Startup Park provides an Internet of Things (IoT) test field and a substantiation lab for Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) where start-ups can test their IoT or AIoT products.
 
“Our goal is to create a supportive environment for businesses and to invigorate investments,” said Lee Wonjae, a commissioner of IFEZ.
 
“In accordance with government policy, we will strive to make IFEZ a global hub for innovation growth.”
 
 
By Shin Ha-nee [shin.hanee@joongang.co.kr] 
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