The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP)’s budget for next year for the pursuit of a creative economy is 13.5746 trillion won (US$12.6117 billion).
Funding for a creative economy, research & development (R&D), and information and communications technology (ICT) increased 5.8% compared to this year. On the other hand, funding for events such as the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference to be held in Korea next year has been cut drastically, requiring additional review.
On September 29, it has been reported that MSIP’s budget for next year is 13.5746 trillion won (US$12.6117 billion), which is 5.8% more than this year’s 12.8332 trillion won (US$11.9229 billion). This is higher than the total increase rate (4.6%) of the government.
First, the implementation funds for next year’s creative economy have jumped 11.1% from this year’s 2.2975 trillion won (US$2.1345 billion) to 2.5514 trillion won (US$2.3704 billion).
Funding has increased for major business areas such as the software professional human resources nurturing project (from 15 billion won to 17 billion, or from US$13.9 million to US$15.8 million), next generation Internet business competitiveness enforcement project (from 5.2 billion won to 12.5 billion won, or from US$4.8 million to US$11.6 million), Digital Content Korea fund creation (new, 50 billion won, US$46.4 million), social issue solution-based technology development project (new, 9 billion won, US$8.4 million) and basic research result application support business (from 6.6 billion to 17.9 billion won, or US$6.1 million to US$16.6 billion).
In fact, funds for building a foundation for the creative economy (4.5 billion won, US$4.18 million) and a providing a comprehensive support system for creative economy (6.9 billion won, US$6.4 million) have been newly added.
MSIP will begin full-scale work on combining its two major areas of scientific technology and ICT to open new business industries and solve the pending social problems.
First, it will pursue a project creating a new industry and developing new promising fusion items to which 10.5 billion won (US$9.76 million) has been invested. R&D and technical commercialization will be supported for the new business development, to speed up the provision of new products and services. A group of experts will select fusion assignments and continuously support technical commercialization processes such as post R&D, production, and start-ups.
Projects for solving pending social problems will provide solutions for common national issues such as toxic chemicals, child and teen obesity, and cancer.
The government’s attempt to break their own departmental barriers to solve social problems based on R&D is shown in its joint planning research support project, in which the MSIP will be in charge of project management and negotiations.
Also, an additional 322 billion won (US$300 million) will be distributed to space technology to be used in products like the development of a Korean launch vehicle (240 billion won, US$223 million). Basic research for individual and group projects will be supported to the tune of 662.6 billion won (US$616.7 million).
The international scientific business belt saw a huge increase in its budget from this year’s 75.1 billion won (US$69.9 million) to 180 billion won (US$167 million) next year, with the inclusion of its site purchasing cost.
The development of heavy ion accelerator project will be sped up with an additional funding of 60 billion won (US$56 million).
The budget for government-funded research institutes will increase 106.4 billion won (US$99.0 million) to a total of 2.7011 trillion won (US$2.5135 billion). In fact, the research funds for these institutes in cooperation with small and mid-size businesses will jump sharply from 69.9 billion won (US$65.0 million) to 113.3 billion won (US$105.4 million). Joint research funds among the institutions will jump from 18.7 billion won (US$17.4 million) to 78.7 billion won (US$73.2 million).
The software and digital content fields will have a 24.2% increased budget of 498.3 billion won (US$463.7 million). MSIP will pursue the software industry to become a major business in ICT by focusing on original technology development in the software computing industry.
Also, IT venture businesses will see an increase in investments, such as 15 billion won (US$14.0 million) going to cultivating creative ICT businesses.
However, the budget for the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference will be 14.2 billion won (US$13.2 million), which is half the amount originally requested.
This conference is the largest international conference, held every four years in the ICT field, where the representatives of 193 ITU member countries participate. It will be held in Busan next October, the second time to be held in Asia.
Initially, this conference was expected to make contributions to securing ICT governmental authority and expanding domestic ICT businesses overseas, but ended up not being funded enough because it was considered an event.
A MSIP representative said, “29 billion won was requested, but with the currently secured budget, it will be difficult to meet the minimum requirements of the ITU, making it impossible to host the conference,” and added, “We will try our best to be distributed the necessary budget in the national assembly’s budget review process.”