LG to nurture beauty, bio start-ups

By Korea Herald

Group shares 52,000 patents with venture firms through regional creative economy center

  • Published : May 13, 2015 - 20:31
  • Updated : May 13, 2015 - 20:31

LG Group said Wednesday it would nurture 20 beauty and bio-industry start-ups this year through its creative economy center that opened in February in North Chungcheong Province.

The group recently selected the first eight firms to discuss specific support plans for funding, patent sharing and overseas entry, officials said.

“Based on LG’s technological and business prowess, we will offer specific support for the companies’ different needs,” said Yoon Joon-won, the center director. “The support is aimed at making tangible results like profit growth.”

The LG center, one of a series of government-supported regional offices helping to nurture start-ups and venture companies across industries, aims to serve the nation’s beauty and biotech hub. 

Officials from a local government-funded agency for ventures and LG Group’s creative economy center in North Chungcheong Province participate in a meeting at the start-up nurturing center on Wednesday. (LG Group)

As part of the new initiative for shared growth, LG also announced it would open some 52,000 patents owned by the group to smaller firms.

“Innovation comes through cooperation. It cannot be made alone,” LG Group chairman Koo Bon-moo also said during the center’s opening ceremony.

Among the first firms to benefit is Bonochem, a natural soap-maker. Targeting the Southeast Asian market, the company plans to develop natural soaps that repel hazardous insects while minimizing the impact on skin. LG Chem and LG Household and Healthcare plan to share related patents and support its global entry.

Perco is the only company in Korea that owns a patented chemical extraction technology using ultrahigh pressure. Compared to existing technologies using heat, the company’s technology reduces processing time and impurities.

The company, which had struggled to commercialize the technology, has also been selected to receive LG’s support. The company has collaborated with LG Household and Healthcare on the industrial adoption and plans to enter the food and cosmetics sectors.

The group added it would receive separate applications from firms nationwide who want to start a new business using its patents. The final 10 business ideas will be selected in July to receive technological and financial support.

North Chungcheong Province is the nation’s beauty, bio and energy hub. More than 100 cosmetics companies, including the beauty and health care unit of LG, run operations in the region, making up 27 percent of the nation’s total beauty production.

Bio clusters in the region have also posted a staggering 76.5 percent annual growth rate. More than 1,500 solar power, renewable batteries and water purifying companies are located in the region as well.

By Lee Ji-yoon (