On June 14, the Small & Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and the Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Applied Materials in the Silicon Valley. The purpose of the MOU is to raise a fund for investment in South Korean venture firms and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Applied Materials is one of the largest semiconductor equipment manufacturers in the world. It recorded approximately 10 trillion won in sales revenue and about 25 trillion won in market capitalization at the end of last year. In addition, it currently owns more than 10,000 patents and its annual R&D investment amounts to 1.5 trillion won or so.
In 2005, the company established Applied Ventures, a corporate venture capital. The CVC has invested US$200 million in 60 equipment and component manufacturers around the world until the end of 2015.
According to the MOU, the fund to be raised is to have a size of approximately 30 billion won (US$26 million). The fund is scheduled to be run by Applied Ventures for investment in South Korean SMEs and venture firms in manufacturing industry segments such as semiconductor, display and photovoltaic power generation.