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How Technologies Will Change Our Future

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL = Yonhap News) The most eye-catching part of the government’s recently announced “6th industrial technology innovation projects (2013 - 2018)” is the 13 large integrated projects, with an investment of KRW 2 trillion, over the next 10 years.

The projects aim to develop the new growth engines and use the existing high-tech industrial technologies to present the world with a leading high value-added product.

It mainly includes fields that can be widely applied and have large ripple effects industry-wide.

The main bodies of the industrial ecosystem, including conglomerates, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research institutes and universities, were encouraged to participate in the project to develop a new industrial ecosystem to lead the Korean economy in the future.

The 13 projects include the development of the wearable smart device, autonomous vehicle, humanitarian robot and personalized healthcare system, which are closely related to our daily lives. The selection of the fields gives clue to the changes society is expected to experience in 10 years.

The wearable smart device is a smart device that can be worn like glasses or clothes.

The market for the smart glass and smart watch are forecast to evolve from next year, and the market for smart clothes will be formed the year after next. The entire wearable smart device market is expected to be worth USD 61 billion in 2018 and USD 266.4 billion in 2024.

In Korea, Samsung electronics released the smart watch “Galaxy Gear,” but the smart clothes products have not reached commercialization.

Korea has the accumulated competitiveness in information & communication technology (ICT), functional fiber and electronic components, but it lacks the technologies to develop the core material needed to produce devices.

To tackle such a lack of technology, the government plans to invest in research and development (R&D) projects for the core material and components for wearable smart devices in an effort to dominate the patent race and lead the standardization of the global market.

The autonomous vehicle is a vehicle that automatically controls the accelerator and brake pedals to maintain distance between cars. Global leading car manufacturers, including General Motors, Toyota, Honda and BMW, are in the process of developing relevant technologies to commercialize the vehicle by 2020.

Patents for most of the material and components are dominated by overseas companies, but the government expects the Korean companies may also have opportunities to penetrate undeveloped markets.

The size of the global market is expected to expand from USD 9.3 billion in 2015 to USD 486.2 billion in 2023.

In 2025, the number of highway deaths is expected to dramatically fall – by 50 percent – and the social costs of traffic accidents will be reduced by KRW 470 billion due to the commercialization of autonomous vehicles.

The government plans to foster 10 global leading companies with more than USD 100 million in this field by investing in the R&D projects of SMEs.

The humanitarian robot came into the spotlight during the Fukushima nuclear disaster. It is designed to save lives in disaster zones, and provide care and support for those with disabilities and the elderly.

The market has infinite potential, as the relevant technologies have yet to be commercialized.

Korea is expected to lead the global market, as it is the 4th largest producer of advanced robots and has both outstanding competitiveness in ICT and infrastructure for the robot industry, according to the government.

The market is forecast to grow from USD 2.12 billion in 2012 to USD 800 billion in 2025.

The personalized healthcare system provides patients with the most suitable healthcare service by analyzing each patient’s gene information.

Developed countries including the United States and United Kingdom began developing relevant technologies long ago and have achieved major accomplishments. Some of the companies in the U.S. have already reached the level of predicting disease risk factors by analyzing the genome information of humans.

The gene analysis ability of Korea is still 20 to 40 percent below that of developed countries, but the solid foundation of Korea’s medical industry is expected to provide opportunity to surpass the level of developed countries if R&D projects are effectively conducted.

Other fields designated as new growth engines are the development of the manufacturing system for advanced materials, high-speed vertical takeoff and landing drones, offshore plants for extreme environments, carbon materials, nonferrous metal for high-tech industry, nano-based biomimetic devices, a virtual training platform, high-efficiency and microminiaturized power generator and low-loss direct current distributional system.

“A 1 percent increase of the market share in 13 target industries will generate added value of more than USD 400 billion. Once the projects are completed in 10 years, they will completely transform Korea’s industrial ecosystem,” said Jeong Man-ki, a MOTIE official.

Copyrights Yonhap News. All Rights Reserved.

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (Dec. 19, 2013)

** This article was translated from the Korean.
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