The government is investing 1.039 trillion won (US$1.005 billion) in basic research next year, 4.2 percent higher than this year. This is the first time that more than one trillion won is earmarked for R&D. By doing so, the government is planning to induce more creative research results with greater opportunities provided for individual researchers.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning announced on July 31 that it fixed the budget allocation plan for 2015 at the sixth National Science & Technology Committee. According to the plan, a total of 12.3902 trillion won (US$11.9901 billion), 2.3 percent up from a year earlier, will be invested in major government-led R&D projects next year. The ratio of investment in basic research is scheduled to go up to 38 percent by next year and 40 percent by 2017.
Large-scale investment is planned for creative economic outcomes, too. A large sum of money is spent on activities for the growth of future growth drivers, small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), and start-up firms so that the government’s creative economy drive can be accelerated across all fields.
The investment for the promotion of future growth engines will be increased 7.5 percent to 1.0724 trillion won (US$1.0378 billion). The financial resources will be spent to foster the development of industrial segments with greater potential, and those that can contribute most to the establishment of creative industrial ecosystems. Funds for the support of start-up firms and SMEs will be raised by 7.4 percent to 1.3168 trillion won (US$1.2743 billion).
In the meantime, 668.5 billion won (US$646.8 million) has been assigned to R&D for disaster prevention and public safety enhancement, 13.7 percent up from this year. In view of the adverse fiscal conditions as of late, the government is going to save 686.6 billion won (US$664.4 million) by removing the waste factors of R&D projects and re-investing the resources in fields of high priority.