The South Korean government will inject 1.20 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) in medical device research and development (R&D) projects over the next six years.
The Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) announced on May 12 that a preliminary feasibility study on the government’s medical device R&D project proposal was completed last month. Based on the study results, the ministry has decided to invest a total of 1.20 trillion won (US$1.02 billion) from next year to 2025.
Four government ministries, including the MSIT, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), are planning to launch a medical device R&D project group in the future. The project is designed to develop medical devices for the global market, lead the future medical services and realize medical welfare by providing end-to-end support ranging from R&D to clinical research, licensing and commercialization.
The R&D project is divided into four main sectors. The first division aims to develop the world’s best devices with high marketability. It will focus on localizing equipment for medical imaging, angiocardiography and orthopedics, and enhancing the quality of dental surgery and ultrasound diagnosis devices to the global level.
The second division is aimed at developing the world’s first devices to preoccupy the new market. It will focus on hyper-connected smart medical devices, precise treatment robots and biomaterials and biotech medical devices.
The third division will develop medical devices to solve social issues, such as rehabilitation and treatment devices for the physically challenged and the elderly and equipment for neuro and psychical disorders and chronic diseases as well as field-type equipment for high lands and islands. In addition, the remaining division will support base studies for hospitals and commercialization efforts.
In particular, regulators, including the MFDS, will take part in the early stage of R&D and support commercialization. This is to prevent firms which developed products without considering licensing and insurance registration from failing to enter the market.