Science & Technology in Korea

The Republic of Korea is one of the leading global research nations. From its humble beginnings in the 1960s as a poor nation until today, Korea has made impressive progress in quality of research. Korea is now a globally leading R&D power in areas of industrial research (IT, communication, transport, civil engineering). The Korean Government also invests heavily in R&D and its numerous public research institutes and universities constantly improve.

Recently, the Korean Government has heavily invested in basic research (creation of the Institutes of Basic Research), internationalization of its research and increasing recognition of creativity in R&D by supporting research freedom and start-ups/technology transfer.


  • In 2011, South Korea invested 0.73% of its GDP in Basic Research, placing Korea as worldwide number 2 behind Switzerland with 0.77%
  • Korea ranks 9th in the list of Gross domestic expenditure on research and development per capita population
  • Korea is comes first in patent applications/GDP and that Korean firms totally hold 640’412 patents (worldwide #3)
  • In 2011 South Korea invested 4% of its Gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD), placing Korea as worldwide number 2 behind Israel
  • Korea has the second highest amount of total researchers within OECD
  • Graduation rate from university among Korean aged from 24 to 34 is 63% ranking Korea as number 1 among OECD countries

Gross Domestic Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD)

10.09% Higher Education sector
76.53% Business sector
11.73% Government sector
1.65% Private Non-Profit sector


The mission of the Ministry is to carve out a bright future for the Republic of
Korea and to open a new era of creative economy by t
echnical commercialization of creative ideas, by stimulating startup, by creating new industries & new demand, and by strengthening the existing industries

The NRF is promotes development focused on research through close cooperation with world-class research funding agencies. NRF makes efforts to become a global leader in research funding that contributes to the advancement of Korea by presenting a new vision for the future.

IBS is a world leading Research Institute in the Basic Sciences that aims to cultivate the next generation of research leaders and to construct a global base for basic science research. It tries to attract scientists from all over the world and facilitates collaborations with a network of institutes.

The Innopolis is a global hub for new technologies and advanced industries. It served as a central pillar of economic growth in Korea by developing advanced technologies and is moving forward o become a global center that turns new technologies into successful businesses. 

Institutes of Science and Technology

Government Research Institutes

Like to talk to us?