Kolon Glotech, the car seat fabric maker under Kolon Group, plans to enter the aerospace business by forging strategic partnerships with local startups.
The company said Thursday it has invested 6 billion won ($5.1 million) in Innospace, a South Korean aerospace manufacturing tech startup, to develop light-weight composite materials used in the launch vehicles of small satellites.
Some products from Kolon Dacc Composite, a subsidiary of Kolon Glotech, are already used in products under development at Innospace, such as the combustion pipes and nozzle parts of test projectiles, it said.
The company plans to continue the join research and development efforts with the startup, with goals to incorporate its materials to build key components in satellites and not just projectiles. Its future goal is to have its composite materials used in other aerospace objects, such as large projectiles and satellite frames.
Kolon says its foray into the aerospace business is a result of the many composite material producing technology Kolon Glotech has accumulated over the years in making materials for automobiles, planes and defense materials.
“Our investment and strategic partnership with Innospace will become a stepping stone in Kolon Glotech’s expansion into the aerospace sector. We will contribute to the development of private space technology sector through continued investments and technological developments,” said Representative Director of Kolon Glotech, Kim Young-beom.
Established in 2017, Innospace is the only company in South Korea with the technology to develop commercial projectiles.
The tech startup is developing a 15-ton engine set to go under its first test fire in Brazil early next year. If the test succeeds Innospace will be the first private company in South Korea to have a launch vehicle.
The market for mid- to small-sized projectiles is growing around the globe.
The market for private space exploration is projected to triple from 2017 and reach $1.1 trillion in 2024, according to global consulting firm, Morgan Stanley.
By Kang Jae-eun (email@example.com