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(SEOUL=NEWSIS) The government will invest KRW 756 billion by 2017 to carry out its flagship creative economy projects. The Korean version of Tokyu Hands, a channel for distributing creative products, will be built in the second half of the year, and three projects will be carried out – the energy storage system (ESS), carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP) and obesity and health management service.
The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) discussed the project investment at the recent 2nd Public-Private Creative Economy Committee meeting with leaders from eight ministries involved with the creative economy and eight economic organizations. The three projects were selected by a creative economy joint task force team.
The team chose the ESS in an effort to control energy supply and demand and use renewable energy. The project will receive an investment of KRW 625 billion by 2017 and be supervised by KEPCO. The ESS stores electric power when there is plenty of electric power and discharges it when demand is high.
The government will ensure that ESS power can be used in times of high electric power demand or in emergencies, and the Hyosung Corporation will carry out a demonstration project. SK D&D will take the lead in forming a private consortium and invest KRW 87 billion by 2016 to install a wind power plant and ESS in Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island.
The CFRP project will receive a total investment of KRW 43.3 billion by 2017, with KRW 32.6 billion coming from the private sector. CFRP, a strong, lightweight substitute for metal, is produced by a handful of global manufacturers in the United States, Japan and Germany. The CFRP produced in Korea will be used to develop automotive structures, CNG pressure cylinders for taxis and buses and structural airplane parts in a demonstration project. The project aims to propel the development of local materials and enhance the competitiveness of related industries.
The obesity and health management service project will receive a total investment of KRW 2.9 million. The health of more than 300 people will be measured with smartphone-linked wellness devices in the second half of the year, and the data will be used for hospital diagnoses and prescriptions for exercise focused on sports centers. With growing demand for health-management measures, the project is expected to accelerate the commercialization of wellness care services.
The Public-Private Creative Economy Committee said at the meeting that it would build the creative product distribution channel as part of the creative project plan and submitted a proposal to support the startups of university students to the government. “Creative products” are goods featuring innovative design and functions that aim to enhance user convenience. Japan’s Tokyu Hands reached an annual profit of JPY 83 billion in 2012 with its wide range of innovative products.
“The three projects that are chosen are all very promising, and we’ve been contemplating working on these for a long time,” said Hang-Sik Park, a mediator at the MSIP. “Since it was difficult for individual corporations to take the lead, the public and private spheres jointly agreed to carry them out.”
Source: Newsis (May. 26, 2014)
** This article was translated from the Korean.