The Korean government and large and mid-sized companies have forged a partnership to create an ecosystem for the Internet of Things (IoT).
First, they are going to secure a cooperative base by creating a center for the IoT in the first half of this year and to begin various kinds of projects, including building infrastructure for development support, sharing production facilities, and training a workforce.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held an MOU signing ceremony for “Win-win Cooperation in the IoT” aimed at cultivating next-generation growth engines of the electronics industry at the Renaissance Seoul Hotel on May 18.
A total of 100 private enterprises participated in the event, and major attendees included Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin, LG Electronics President Choi Sang-kyu, Dongbu Daewoo Electronics President Lee Jae-kook, and Coway President Kim Dong-hyun.
Moon Seung-woo, director general for the system industry at the MOTIE, said, “Apple and Google are working to enter the household appliance industry through strategic partnerships with household appliance makers in China and Europe.” He added, “Local companies like Samsung and LG are actively trying to do so, but there is a certain limit to leading the global ecosystem.”
Signatories are planning to create an ecosystem of the IoT. First, they will build a cooperate center for the electronics and IoT industries in the Digital Innovation Center in Seoul during the first half of this year to establish a base for IoT cooperation.
The center will provide support for related infrastructure and technology, manpower training, and exports, so that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can develop products based on Samsung's IoT hardware platform Artik, software platforms for Tizen and Smart Things, and LG's Web OS and the Home Chat service.
In addition, they will hold the (tentatively named) IoT Expansion Forum to facilitate technology sharing and business discussions.
To help SMEs develop and produce new items, large enterprises, Creative Economy Innovation Centers, Manufacturing Innovation Centers for 3D Printing, and a Mutual Growth Valley are all planning to form a network within this year for sharing inspection equipment.
From next year, areas will be expanded to the rental and relocation of production facilities. To cultivate promising IoT companies, a 30 billion won (US$27.5 million) fund for the manufacturing and IoT investment will be raised this year, and the amount will increase to 100 billion won (US$91.8 million) by 2017.
Furthermore, numerous educational programs like conferences for electronics and IoT developers, support for open-source hardware platform-based product development, and pilot projects for smart convergence product development will start this year.
Some participants gave their advice for the expansion of the IoT ecosystem.
Samsung Electronics President Park Sang-jin remarked, “It is necessary to create IoT standards at the national or global level, but there is still no alternative.”
Coway President Kim Dong-hyun said, “Our company had a hard time in finding a censor specialized in the environment when working to develop an IoT air purification system.” He added, “If partnerships in the industry through this agreement lead to the development of competitive sensors, the IoT market will grow a lot.”