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R&D Policies

In a bid to vitalize the economy and improve the quality of people's lives, the Korean government strives to accomplish three major R&D investment goals  -
leading economic innovation, realizing people’s happiness and strengthening 
innovation through science and technology.

Policy direction

The R&D direction and key investment sectors of the Korean government (2017)

Basic direction and goals

Basic direction

  • Strategic R&D investment to create future growth engine
  • Strengthen R&D to solve social issues
  • Expand support for creative research to achieve growth through innovation


  • Economic innovation through science
    and technology
Key investment sectors
  • 01
  • Leading Economic Innovation



    - Expand role of R&D to vitalize the economy

    - Foster new industries to create future growth engine

    - Facilitate research and strengthen foundation for expansion



  • Enhancing support for industrial restructuring to be ready for the 4th industrial revolution 


    - Vitalize the economy by enhancing technological capability of SMEs and strengthening locally customized R&D innovation capabilities

  • Expanding ecosystem for the strategic and convergence new industries


    - Boost support for future growth industries and nurture new industries with high potential for the global market

  • 02
  • Realizing people’s

    - Promote quality of people's lives
    - Build a safe and worry-free society

    - Create a foundation for sustainable society

  • Expanding support for smart healthcare and technologies related to living environment

    - Bring convenience to life through technology development for ICT convergence services

  • Providing more support to development of public technologies

    - Preemptively prepare for risk factors emerging with the development of technology and increasingly complex disasters 

  • 03
  •  Strengthening innovation through science and technology

    - Expand basic and creative convergence research

    - Solidify R&D infrastructure to produce innovative achievements

    - Boost research capability through open collaboration

  • Raising effectiveness of investment in basic research

    - Build sound environment for research

    - Provide steady support for basic development and research activities


  • Improving research managment system

    - Nuture science and technology talents based on local and industrial demand

    - Transform R&D support system centering on researchers

Efficiency of the government's R&D investment system
  • Strengthening support system for whole R&D cycle


    Restructuring R&D financing


    Implementing R&D innovation measures

*Source: The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance

Government budget by R&D sector

  • Expanded investment in future growth engines, basic research, and disaster/saftey sectors
  • Increased strategic R&D investment to vitalize the economy and be ready for the future
  • Enhanced productivity and responsibility by continuously making R&D investment more effective
Total budget in 2014 : KRW 17.779 trillion 
Total budget in 2015 (proposed) : KRW 18.824 trillion

Basic science∙Nano: in 2014 24,839 trillion/ in 2015 26,197 trillion
Energy∙Environment: in 2014 25,341 trillion/ in 2015 25,457 trillion
Aerospace∙Biotechnology : in 2014 47,098 trillion/ in 2015 52,756 trillion
Machinery∙Manufacturing∙Processing: in 2014 16,093 trillion/ in 201517,218 trillion
Information∙Electronics: in 2014 26,002 trillion/ in 2015 25,308 trillion
Others: in 2014 37,610 trillion/ in 2015 41,309 trillion
Unit: KRW 100 mn

Source: Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and Ministry of Strategy and Finance