Innovation in Korea


  • Korea is the world’s 12th 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.
  • Korea ranked 1st in the world for 6 consecutive years (2014-2019) according to the Bloomberg Innovation Index
  • In 2018, Korea spent 4.5% of its GDP, or a total of US$69.73 billions on R&D (R&D spending to GDP ratio highest in the world)
  • Korean electronics giant, Samsung Electronics is the 2nd company spending most on R&D in the world in 2019.

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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