Smart innovation based on the Industry Innovation Movement program is gaining speed in the domestic manufacturing sector. The purpose of the movement is to assist in the innovation of subcontractors based on cooperation among the government, economic organizations, large corporations, and their contractors.
In the second phase of the movement, from Aug. 2014 to August this year, a total of 2,027 small and medium enterprises joined the program. Each of them was granted 20 to 40 million won (US$17,152 to $34,304), and production and business management consultants were allocated as advisors for a higher level of business efficiency, cost reduction, and better customer service. During the period, the 1,238 firms that took part in the program as partners of large corporations recorded an improvement of an average of 64.3 percent in defect rate, delivery schedule compliance, and the like. This percentage is equivalent to 82 billion won (US$70 million), or 70 million won (US$60,032) per firm in reduced costs.
The third stage, which kicked off last month, focuses on the expansion of ICT-based smart factories. Such facilities were built in 152 companies in the second phase, but the number is slated to be increased to 340 in the third. At the same time, 32.2 billion won (US$27.6 million) is invested in 1,428 firms during the one-year period for the optimization of production processes, better quality and energy control, and other things.
Also, the Standard Innovation Activity Roadmap is drawn up so that the participants can analyze their innovation capabilities and plan on annual action plans on their own. Consulting services continue to be provided even for the firms that joined the first or second stage but did not join the third.
“The Industry Innovation Movement allowed large and smaller companies to better understand each other and build trust,” said Korea Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chairman Park Yong-man, adding, “The intangible assets of great value have led to tangible outcomes such as extended contracts and increased supply, which I believe will guide us out of cold capitalism down the road.”