The Korean government has announced its master plan for a creative economy, and which is characterized by efforts for the creation of new markets and decent jobs through the combination of creative ideas and information and communications technologies (ICT).
A briefing session was held on the morning of June 5 in a government complex located in Seoul, attended by the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Choi Moon-ki and vice ministers of related authorities. The plan, subtitled 'Measures for Establishment of Creative Economic Ecosystems,’ was finalized in the preceding day’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Jeong Hong-won.
“The catch-up strategy that has led our economic growth during the past 40 years has reached its limit, with emerging economies speeding up their growth and the global economic crisis exacerbating these days,” said the minister, adding,“The new plan is to shift the paradigm of economic growth from imitation and application to innovation based on the creativity of the Korean people.” He added that the plan aims to realize a new era of happiness and well-being by means of economic creativity along with three goals: the creation of new markets and jobs through innovation; enhancement of global leadership in the international economic arena; and realization of a society where creators are respected.
At the same time, the ministry made public the following six action plans: establishment of business-friendly ecosystems in which creativity receives reasonable compensation; promotion of venture firms and small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) for higher global competitiveness; creation of new growth drivers for the exploration of new markets; fostering of ambitious and creative human resources with a challenging spirit; strengthening of scientific and ICT competence that form the foundation of a creative economy;and joint endeavor by the people and government for the development of a creative economic culture.
Paradigm of Financing Shifted from Loans to Investment
The government aims to focus more on the national investment pool than the loan pool down the road in a bid to make it easier for start-up firms to receive financing in return for their creative ideas and business potential. Specifically, it is planning to facilitate angel investment and crowd funding, while raising the Future Creation Fund to at least 500 billion won. In addition, it aims to ease stock market and M&A-related regulations in order to help investors make more aggressive investments.
Allowing for the fact that one-man businesses have a crucial role in a creative economy, it is offering more financial support than before for R&D, management, facility expansion and so forth, whileencouraging startups by allowing more college professors and personnel in government-funded research institutes to work in the private sector.
The government will also work on the National Patent Strategy Blueprint in order to turn creative ideas into lucrative patents. To this end, it will raise investment funds totaling 200 billion this year so as to give impetus to inventions.
More information, legal and consulting assistance will also be provided in the intellectual property sector.
Assistance for Overseas Market Exploration by Venture Firms and SMEs
Exemplary procurement items will also be selected by the government so as to help technology-oriented venture companies and SMEs find their way into overseas markets.
Such companies are expected to be able to enter public procurement and overseas markets with greater ease thanks to the new system. Consulting and networking support will be given to them, along with infrastructure-related assistance so that they can aim at the global market from the very first stage of their business. Center will function as support channels for those operating in strategic export markets such as China and the United States.
Creation of Future Growth Drivers by Raising Major Funds
In the meantime, the government will kick off the Creative Economy Vitamin Project,which covers the agricultural, cultural, environmental, food, public administration, infrastructure and public safety sectors, in an effort to revitalize them by dint of science technology, ICT and close inter-ministerial cooperation.
During the course of the undertaking, research and solution development (R&SD), will bepursued in order to better cope with social demands and problems, while various regulations are to be abolished. The creation of new industries based on software and the Internet are also to be accelerated as well. Software education is to be shored up and new industry clusters built so as to link the sector with regional industries for the development of software-based convergence technologies, while a software policy research institute is also to be established. Furthermore, the Cloud Computing Development Act is to be enacted so as to grow cloud computing and big data into future growth drivers, while a big data analysis and utilization center is to be established,as well as more than 5,000 information security engineers and experts to be trained by 2017.
Large-scale funds are to be raised in order to strengthen the cultural contents industry. For example, the Digital Korea Fund and the Wipung Dangdang Korea Fund have been established to assist contents creators and producers.
The advancement of key technologies in the biotech, nano science, medical and environmental sectors is to be backed up for the development of genome analysis and treatment techniques, graphene devices,carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), etc. In addition, the exporters of mid size satellites,advanced nuclear reactors, unmanned aerial vehicles, etc.,will receive more investments than before.
In doing so, the government is planning to seek new industrial and business opportunities through the long-term prediction of the future and speed up the development of related core technologies.
Enhancement of Scientific and ICT Competence Based on Creative Economy
Furthermore, the administration is to increase the ratio of its investment in basic sciences to total R&D investment from 36% to 40% by 2017, while launching future oriented venture research and innovation-centered R&D projects and providing greater support to researchers who succeed in commercializing their creations. Science Technology Innovation Centers are to be put into operation in emerging countries in this context so as to better open up overseas markets through the utilization of commercial scale technologies.
In order to enhance the technical management competence of local governments,technical planning and management agencies are to be organized along with Regional Innovation Clusters that reflect region-specific characteristics. Sci-Biz Funds are to be provided for the same purpose in order to nurture specialized industries in such regions. Colleges specializing in the development of science technologies and industrial-academic cooperation are to be given a bigger role as leading innovators, while the Technology Licensing Offices’role is to be strengthened in order to maximize commercialization.
Primary and secondary school textbooks are to be reedited so as to publicize the concept of a creative economy, while educational content will be developed for the convergence based cultivation of human resources. The idea is to include hands-on and inquiry-based educational elements into the curricular of mathematics, sciences, technology, engineering, arts, etc.Roughly 35 types of new educational content are to be created by 2017 and applied to all elementary schools nationwide.