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Park vows to boost economic momentum via R&D

Government advised to nurture more than 100 biotechnology companies

President Park Geun-hye has pledged that the Korean government would make the utmost efforts to keep the nation’s economy strong by beefing up research and development in the information and communications technology and biotechnology sectors.

“The government’s creative economy based on development of science technology and ICT is the one-and-only economic growth engine as well as a stepping stone for the nation’s economy to take the next big leap forward,” President Park said in a speech at the state-run Korea Institute of Science and Technology in Seoul on Thursday. 

President Park Geun-hye (Yonhap)
President Park Geun-hye (Yonhap)

“Since its launch, the government has rolled out support programs and improved policies through the creative economy initiative to vitalize the venture ecosystem and entrepreneurial sector,” Park said.

A presidential advisory council on science and technology under the presidential office and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning also rolled out a batch of plans to invigorate the nation’s economy through innovation.

The advisory group suggested that the Korean government nurture more than 100 biotechnology companies to increase the nation’s market share in the sector to at least 5 percent by 2025.

Korea’s market share in the biotech sector stood at 1.3 percent in 2012, according to the government data.

The group consisting of engineers and scientists outlined four projects including mitigating regulations on cell treatments and gene therapy, and galvanizing the digital health care sector, utilizing the ICT devices.

It also recommended the government set up a package of support programs for biotechnology start-ups, such as a R&D center tailored to the biotech firms, financial aid and systems to help speed up their global penetration.

The science ministry set out a plan to utilize carbon gasses to generate high value-added chemicals, which is in line with the government plans to respond to the global warming.

The ministry expected that the carbon recycling plan will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases by 25 million tons until 2030 and create 16 trillion won ($14.1 billion) of economic value.

The government currently runs 17 creative economy and innovation centers -- including a start-up incubation institute -- together with Korea’s largest conglomerates, Samsung Group, SK Group, and LG Group among them.

The Korean government will eliminate bureaucratic red tape to help the Korea’s venture industry gain further momentum for years to come, according to the Korean president, who took the office in 2013.

“In order for the nation to play a leading role in the fourth industrial revolution, businesses should take preemptive measures to obtain original technologies and seek technology convergence to create a new market,” said the president, vowing to support businesses by abolishing administrative hurdles that could hamper the emergence of new technology and growth of a new industry sector.

The Korean government will also establish a “national science technology strategy” meeting, which will serve as a national R&D control tower. The meeting will be chaired by President Park.

She also called for the support of researchers, private firms and those from academia to achieve the creative economy initiative, expressing her gratitude to those first-generation, or veteran, scientists and researchers who had devoted themselves to the growth of Korea’s science technology for the past decades.

By Kim Young-won (
catch table
Korea Herald daum