• Korea is the World’s number one producer of mobile phones, displays, semiconductors and shipbuilding
  • Korea mainly exports machinery, automotive, semiconductors and petroleum products.
  • Bloomberg has ranked Korea as the 1st most innovative country in the world in 2018
  • The number of researchers in the private sector has reached over 250’000 already in 2011, ranking Korea in the top 3 countries within OECD
  • Korea’s labor productivity is the 2nd highest country in OECD
  • Korea ranks first worldwide in resident patent applications per GDP
  • Samsung Electronics came in second in the ranking for R&D investments

The main idea of the whole R&D strategy is to encourage public-private partnerships, invest massively, and reform the regulatory system to create an ecosystem that can proactively respond to future needs. Priority areas in Korean R&D strategy are directly linked with the major topic of the 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). The five selected “new growth engines”, as reported in the strategy implementation plan in 2016, are artificial intelligence [AI], virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, light-weight materials and the smart city.  In order to promote AI technology in particular, the government plans to invest approximately USD 1.8 billion PPP (KRW 1.6 trillion) for the next 10 years. The Ministry of Science and ICT (MICT) launched a special cross-agency, Intelligent Information Society Bureau in September 2016 to develop mid- to long-term national strategies, foreseeing and responding proactively to the future that intelligent information technologies will bring in. The MICT is also planning to establish an AI research institute focusing on core AI technologies. Four areas, precision medicine, carbon recycling, fine dust and biomedicine were instead selected for improving national happiness and the quality of life. In 2015, Korea released its Strategy for the Industrialization of Nanotechnology. The related budget goes to seven techniques for industrial applications, including 3D printing, nano-electronic devices used in intelligent robots and wearable smart devices, as well as components of industrial infrastructure aimed at improving the evaluation of production performance.


Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT)

KIAT is an agency of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The purpose of KIAT is the efficient and systematic promotion of industrial technology innovation and support for the development of related policies. Its tasks include the development of an industry-academia cooperation system, the commercialization of technologies and the promotion of international technology cooperation.

Bildergebnis für KIAT korea
Research institutions
Many are the public and private research institutions in Korea. An extensive list is provided by the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in collaboration with the European Union to facilitate the establishment of partnerships for joint projects. The document is available through the following link: