The Korean government has chosen to foster 140 core equipment technologies which could lead the domestic industry in the future. This program is intended to reduce the difference between the core equipment industries of South Korea and advanced countries such as the U.S. and Japan by fostering high value-added technologies.
On Dec. 23, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced the selected 140 core equipment technologies to support 13 top industrial growth engine projects for the future. The selected core equipment covers four areas including 59 growth engine-related equipment, 32 core equipment unsupported until now, 22 future basic equipment, and 27 common core technologies.
Industrial growth engine-related equipment include cell culture automation devices, carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers (CFRP), and a metal composite fusion process. Unsupported core equipment includes super sensitive devices to measure the moisture penetration rate. Basic equipment for the future includes a blood monitoring system that works without drawing blood, and common core technologies include high-density plasma uniformity enhancement technology.
The reason for the government fostering the core equipment industry is that the industry is still dependant on advanced countries. The global market size of core equipment was US$531.9 billion in 2012, with a 9.7 percent of annual average growth rate for the last 10 years.
South Korea ranked 11th in the global core equipment market, recording 28 trillion won of production and US$8.8 billion of exports in 2012. However, the country ranked as the third deficit country in the world with a trade deficit amounting to US$7.4 billion, which resulted from the weak competitiveness falling behind those of advanced countries such as U.S., Japan, and Germany that are armed with overwhelming basic technologies.
In particular, as the global manufacturing center moves to China and other emerging countries, the Korean government judges that the nation strongly needs to foster core equipment technologies to maintain and advance its core equipment industry.