Innovation in Korea


  • Korea is the world’s 15th largest economy and 9th largest trading nation, with a trade volume of more than 1 trillion US dollars.
  • Korea is the World’s number one producer in mobile phones, displays, semiconductors and shipbuilding mainly exporting machinery, automotive, semiconductors and petroleum products.
  • Bloomberg Businessweek has ranked Korea as the 2nd most innovative country in the world in 2013
  • The number of researchers in the Business enterprise sector in Korea has reached over 250’000 in 2011, ranking Korea 2nd within OECD
  • Korea’s labor productivity is the 2nd highest country in OECD
  • In 2010, Korea spent 3.74% of its GDP, or a total of € 53.2 billions on R&D, making Korea the 5th largest R&D power worldwide
  • Korean electronics giant, Samsung Electronics is the 6th company spending most on R&D in the world in 2012

Government Agencies

KIAT is the government’s R&D founding agency that belongs to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). It guided Koreas innovation system and had a budget of USD 1.17 billion in 2012 and employs about 300 staff. KIAT directly supports firms in their R&D efforts, has a strong planning and advisory capacity through which it targets funding certain “growth areas”.

KEIT is a government affiliated organization under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. KEIT is a technology think-tank charged with the missions of policy research, R&D management, technology assessment and international cooperation. Its role is to support technology planning and implementation and to act as a catalyst to expand technology infrastructure.

KOTRA’s mission is to raise the customer competitive power and it aims to develop the Korean economy by supporting the globalization of small and medium sized enterprises and by fostering creative global specialists

Korea Industrial Complex Corp. upgrades the brand value of a Korean industrial complex by providng stable manufacturing facilities at low prices to help small- and mid-sized companies launch new business. They also provide lease service in foreign investment zones that are developed to adopt advanced high-tech technology and promote foreign investment.

Korean Industrial Research Centers

Global Companies with Research Centers in Korea

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