The South Korean government said Tuesday that it will inject 3.2 trillion won ($2.9 billion) into research and development in the next year to boost growth of next-generation industries.
Despite the ambitious cause, the size of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy’s R&D investment has been decreasing over the past several years, falling to 3.158 trillion won for 2018, down 1.3 percent from 3.338 trillion won this year.
But by category, the ministry‘s investments in five next-generation industries have increased 12.5 percent to 919 billion won, accounting for some 29 percent of the ministry’s total R&D spending planned for the next year.
The ministry‘s investment decision came in line with the nation‘s industry development plan announced earlier this month, which vowed to ramp up investment in the innovative industries. The five major industries include self-driving cars, the Internet of Things, bio-health, renewables and chips.
A total 149 billion won will be spent on self-driving cars, up by 25 billion won from this year, with an aim to have them on the highway by 2020 and increase the number of electric vehicles to 350,000 by 2022.
The ministry will also inject 81 billion won in the Industrial Internet of Things and 199 billion won in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, up by 9.8 billion won and 42 billion won, respectively.
The ministry plans to emphasize the development of big data analytics and artificial intelligence to fuel the growths in both sectors, the ministry said in a statement.
Some 417 billion won will be spent on installing dispersed energy infrastructure and increasing the proportion of power generation from renewable sources like solar and wind, a move in line with the nation’s 2030 renewable energy plan that aims to increase renewables to account for 20 percent of power generation.
The nation’s semiconductors and display sectors are expected to benefit from the ministry‘s 72 billion won in R&D spending, also increased by 13 billion won, compared with this year’s.
The government will announce specific guidelines and details of project during the first quarter of the next year.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)