The Hanjin Group and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning opened a new creative economy and innovation center in Songdo, Incheon City, on July 22. The Center is the last of 17 launched nationwide by the Park Geun-hye government in collaboration with Korea’s major conglomerates to realize the current government’s flagship creative economy policy.
The Hanjin Group, Korea’s 10th largest conglomerate, will invest 159 billion won (US$137.9 million) to nurture startups and ventures specializing in IT-based logistics systems, aircraft maintenance, and automotive materials in Incheon City to lead them to global expansion, in particular, into China. Hanjin Group is the mother company of Korean Air and Hanjin Shipping.
“The government hopes the Incheon Creative Economy and Innovation Center will successfully combine Incheon’s superior logistics infrastructure and geographic advantage with the global distribution expertise of the Hanjin Group to nurture Korea’s small and venture businesses to grow globally,” said President Park Geun-hye during the center's opening ceremony that included Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho, Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan, Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, and Chinese Ambassador to Korea Qiu Guohong.
Park continued, “Incheon is home to Incheon International Airport, the nation's largest airport, and the nation’s second largest commercial harbor, Incheon Harbor, along with the presences of 13 international organizations, including the Green Climate Fund. These are great assets to develop Incheon as an international business city in which startups will grow together.” She added, “I hope this center will provide many startups in Incheon with new growth momentum.”
The 17th Creative Economy and Innovation Center marks the completion of a nationwide network of startup incubators supported by big businesses. The seventeen centers are supposed to share information and cooperate with each other to boost the competitiveness of startups across the country.
The Hanjin Group will first help IT startups to develop a so-called “smart logistics system” that will maximize transportation efficiency. The system will be introduced to a new cargo terminal in the city that the business group will open in Jan. next year.