South Korea plans to increase its 2018 budget spending for science and technology R&D projects by 26 percent, stepping up efforts to secure new growth engines, the science ministry said Thursday.
The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said it will spend 1.52 trillion won ($1.3 billion) in 2018 on various science and technology R&D projects, subject to parliamentary endorsement later this year, up from 1.26 trillion won allocated for this year.
The planned allocations will assist in securing critical information technologies, such as artificial intelligence and unmanned vehicle technologies as the sectors will eventually lead to the development of cutting-edge technologies.
The government has been pushing forward with various projects to cope with the fast-paced industrial transformation, dubbed the "fourth industrial revolution," characterized by a fusion of cutting-edge technologies, such as big data and the Internet of Things.
Under the projects, the government hopes that innovative ideas would turn into businesses through science and technology, while generating business opportunities by converging different industries. The ministry said technologies, such as the IoT and AI, are forecast to generate business opportunities and profits worth 560 trillion won by 2030.
South Korea's combined budget for R&D will reach 14.59 trillion won in 2018, up 1.3 percent from this year. (Yonhap)