The Korean government is promoting the growth of high-value-added service industries with huge growth potential, such as testing and certification or cloud computing. The R&D budgets for the development of source technologies, stem cells, and so on have been boosted, too.
The Korean government held an economic ministerial meeting on January 15 and announced specific plans to this end. For instance, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy is going to grow the local testing and certification market from 8.4 trillion won (US$7.8 billion) to 13 trillion won (US$12 billion) between 2012 and 2017 while creating 9,000 new jobs, and helping three related organizations reach at least 300 billion won (US$281 million) in annual sales.
Testing and certification is regarded as one of the key service industries that support the manufacturing sector. At present, more than 2,000 entities are found in the local market, but most of them are very small in size, and only three of them record annual sales of over 100 billion won (US$94 million). Under the circumstances, the ministry is going to help them enhance their competitiveness by means of joint R&D and marketing activities, equipment sharing, and a consortium using a new common brand. “The new brand will allow the work efficiency of manufacturers and testing agencies to be improved alike,” said Lee Sang-jin, head of the Bureau of Conformity Policy at the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.
At the same time, the cloud computing industry will be promoted on a large scale as well. The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning came up with a deregulation plan allowing public organizations to make use of the cloud computing services provided by private companies. It will abolish the current regulation under which the former can use their own cloud service called G Cloud for security reasons and encourage at least 15% of them to use private services by 2017.
In the meantime, the government will invest 2.1009 trillion won (US$1.9758 billion) of its R&D budget this year into major science and technology fields such as basic research, source technology, and space technology development. The amount is 10% larger than last year. Also, 389.8 billion won will be invested in the R&D activities of stem cells, new drug development, and other medical and health care fields.