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S. Korea announces measures to increase R&D support for SMEs Updated: 2019-08-14 16:14:36 KST

At an economy-related ministers' meeting on Wednesday, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups announced measures to help South Korea's small firms develop their own parts and materials in a bid to overcome rising global trade protectionism and trade tensions.

"Japan's export curbs showed how an accumulation of technological capabilities can determine a nation's competitiveness. Our goal is to help local small and mid-sized firms achieve technological independence in materials, parts, components that are the foundation of future new industries' growth."

A consortium set up by the government will play a matching role so small firms can develop the specific parts and goods that big conglomerates need.

To ensure continuity, instead of a funding support of an average of around 80-thousand U.S. dollars a year, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups will provide up to 20 times that figure, one.six million dollars over a three-year period.
One-hundred local small firms will be selected by the end of this year to develop tech related materials and parts.
A total of 160 million dollars a year will be allocated for fourth industrial revolution related industries like AI and biotech.

Lastly, the government will strengthen industry-university-research institute cooperation by increasing R&D joint cooperation from last year's 39 percent to nearly 50 percent.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki also said the government will promptly start spending on social overhead capital in the latter half of this year to help boost the local economy.
The government will ease regulations in the construction sector and push for smart construction technology to enhance productivity and safety.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News.
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