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Catalyst for Korea as Materials and Components Industry Powerhouse
KMCW 2014
Catalyst for Korea as Materials and Components Industry Powerhouse
  • By matthew
  • October 2, 2014, 08:15
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Korea Materials & Components Week 2014 (KMCW2014) will take place at the KINTEX Convention Center from Oct. 22 to 24, hosted by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and co-managed by the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT), Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT), Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and Korea Core Industrial Technology Investment Association (KITIA).

A total of more than 20,000 visitors are expected to attend this year’s event from domestic and foreign companies, M&A experts, investors, governments, and academia. Forty prizes are scheduled to be awarded to people of merit at the industry awards celebrating its 15th anniversary.

Korea Materials & Components Week 2014 will be held under the slogan of “New Era, New Challenge, New Job” ahead of Korea’s attainment of a US$100 billion trade surplus in the materials and component industry. The sub-themes are Endeavor for Success, Global Passion, and Future Investment, which cover past achievements, trade outcomes, and preparation for the future, respectively.

In the framework of the sub-theme Endeavor for Success, the policy and attainments of Korea’s materials and components industry will be promoted and prizes awarded to those who contributed to the growth of the industry. GP Korea (Global Partnership Korea) business meetings will also be held in the PR booths.

Korea’s main industrial materials and components will be exhibited with the sub-theme Global Passion, so that the general public can increase their awareness of the sector. Global partnering programs are slated to be underway for global market penetration, and a trade pavilion will be set up to this end as well.

At the Future Investment session, the private and public sectors will form a consensus by sharing their knowledge about technical investment, manpower training, business networking, and other subjects. Promising items will be displayed and an R&D outcome exhibition hall will be established. Also, many more exhibition halls will be set up for greater technical investment and more opportunities for workers.

The auxiliary events are managed by the KIAT and the KEIT. The former will hold the business pavilion GP Korea with KOTRA, Reliability-Material Innovation Forum and run the industry promotion hall, technological investment hall, and the like, while the latter is in charge of the R&D outcome exhibition, the WPM briefing session, and the like.

KIAT: Connecting Local Materials, Components Makers with Global Companies

The Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT, President Chung Jae-hoon) provides support for technical cooperation and strategic partnerships between local materials and components companies and global enterprises through the global partnership (GP) program in the materials and components sector.

To achieve this goal, KIAT holds GP meetings at home and abroad in places such as China, Europe, and the U.S. to connect local materials and components firms and global enterprises in other countries through one-to-one meetings. After the meetings, the institute constructs a system to provide support for commercializing the research and development (R&D) tasks by closely monitoring the progress and giving advice.

In addition, KIAT is engaged in projects aimed at linking local companies with other businesses, including reliability certification and Research & Business Development (R&BD) projects for mutual growth, to maintain and expand businesses with overseas buyers.

The global partnership program is a project that provides support for technical cooperation and strategic partnerships by cultivating the technical demand of global companies based in other countries to revitalize cooperation in the materials and components industry around the world, and to expand opportunities for overseas expansion by local materials and components makers.

In this project, KIAT and the KOTRA have supported local materials and components manufacturers for three years through the GP Center until local firms forge partnerships with global companies. It is not a one-time event for arranging business consultations, but a comprehensive marketing project that connects the whole process, including joint R&D and marketing, the transfer of Industry & Company technology and transactions, the establishment of partner companies, and investment in an ownership stake. Since 2010, KIAT has held local and overseas consultation meetings to arrange one-to-one matches to have business talks between local materials and components companies and global firms based overseas about marketing and technology.

Specifically, KIAT and KOTRA GP meetings 70 times since 2010, and successfully arranged 5,000 cases of business talks between 1,016 overseas companies and 1,926 local firms. In addition to the GP Korea 2013 held in Korea, the meetings were held in China, Finland, Italy, the U.S., Korea, and Japan, starting in China in June last year. Pinpoint meetings were held 55 times. There were 1,577 total business talks, which amounted to US$6.2 billion.

The Global R&BD project for mutual growth started in 2012 as part of an international joint project for the development of technology in the materials and components field with the aim of facilitating the overseas expansion of local materials and components companies. The aim is to provide support for the development of materials and components secured in advance through GP meetings to satisfy demand for the matched global companies.

This year's budget for the project is 2.9 billion won (US$2.75 million), and the amount slightly decreased this year compared to the 3.5 billion won (US$3.3 million) in 2013. The materials and components field, including Industry & Company technologies for industrial or basic materials, are supported. Between 2 and 4 billion won (US$1.9 to 2.85 million) are provided for three years of the development period per task.

Major achievements include cultivating and supporting local small and mid-sized companies' technical development tasks that are sought after by overseas companies like Applied Materials, Boeing, Daimler-Benz, and Valeo. On average, each task is provided with 350 million won (US$333,350) per year. Each task is expected to turn over 1.9 billion won (US$1.9 million) a year in 2017, two years after the completion of development.

Cultivated technical tasks provide opportunities for local small and medium-sized enterprises to enter the global market by being incorporated into global supply networks, creating the promotional merits needed for overseas market penetration in the future, and obtaining information about global standards and systems in the Industry & Company sector.

KIAT is planning to link local companies' technical development tasks that are matched through GP meetings with the R&BD project, and to consistently help long-term relationships for overseas expansion through technical cooperation.

Companies which took part in the program are very optimistic about the R&BD project. In a survey conducted in January involving 250 local firms that participated in the GP program, 64.4 percent of respondents said that they were optimistic about the necessity of the R&BD project. As for the most needed R&BD project type, they mentioned the need for the development of additional R&D tasks, followed by the development of models for commercialization (29.5 percent) and the creation of prototypes (13.1 percent). In addition, all 17 companies that went through the R&BD project, which account for 6.8 percent of respondents, replied that the R&BD project is of great help in business consultation.

KIAT, which was founded in 2009, is an organization that promotes industrial technology that leads the ecosystem of the creative economy by establishing the nation’s policy in industrial technology and realizing its potential as an IT powerhouse by strengthening the foundation of technical innovations. Its goal is to innovate policies that can lead the future, strengthen convergence-type infrastructure, and help create jobs and new markets.

KEIT: Supporting R&D, Convergence in Materials and Components Industry

The Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology (KEIT, Chairman Lee Ki-sup) will participate in Korea Materials & Components Week 2014, held from October 22 to 24 at the KINTEX Convention Center located in Ilsan City, Gyeonggi Province, to increase the awareness of the importance of the materials and components industry and exhibit its R&D outcomes.

KEIT, one of the host organizations of the event, is planning to hold an information session concerning the World Premier Materials (WPM) Project while running trade and R&D pavilions at the venue. The WPM Project Information Session’s topic is Strategic Key Materials and Software Convergence. Twenty large corporations and small firms will join the session with 90 booths to share their R&D information and suggest future directions of the project.

The WPM Project, which has been in its second phase since last year, is to develop 10 key materials for a global market share of at least 30 percent and global sales of US$1 billion by 2019. During the first phase between 2010 and 2012, a total of 830 patents were applied for and registered and 2,500 jobs were created. At the same time, the participating companies invested 760 billion won (US$724 million) for technological commercialization and achieved sales of 72.5 billion won (US$69.1 million) during the period to raise the feasibility of the sub-projects. The first phase of the project has contributed greatly to the reduction of trade losses against the Japanese materials and components industry and increasing exports to China, while fostering joint growth between major corporations and small and medium-size enterprises.

“The materials and components industry of Korea is getting more and more competitive thanks to the government’s support and corporate participation,” said the KEIT chairman, adding, “However, we need to keep accelerating our activities because we are still falling behind in some segments, and second movers like China are emerging fast.”

It is in this context that the KEIT sets up the trade pavilion. There, it displays Korea’s domestically-produced products and main export items along with the organization’s international R&D and global business development projects with 15 project participants. Also, various R&D outcomes, the Software Convergence Component Project and the Strategic Key Materials R&D Project will be promoted at the R&D pavilion so that the public can be more interested in the industrial sector, and new developments can be subject to expert evaluation.

The institute was established in 2009 as a national agency dedicated to R&D planning, evaluation, and management. It has provided assistance so both conventional and new industries, ranging from automobile, shipbuilding, electronics, machinery, and semiconductors to ICT, can be competitive enough in the global market. In particular, it has put in a great amount of effort so that Korean companies can work on advanced materials and components technology on their own and reduce their dependence on advanced economies.

All in one, Korea Materials & Components Week 2014 will be an important occasion to examine the accomplishment of the industry, which constitutes the foundation of the government’s creative economy drive, and turn Korea into the materials and component powerhouse of the world.