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According to Yonhap News,
SEOUL, Dec. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's public investment in future industrial materials and nanotech will jump 136 percent on-year in 2020, as the country moves to enhance its global competitiveness in cutting edge sectors, the government said Sunday.
The sum of 233.6 billion won (US$201.2 million), approved by policymakers and experts, follows the passage of next year's budget by parliament on Dec. 10. The focus will be on acquiring original technologies, expanding research and development (R&D) infrastructure and the creation of a robust business ecosystem, the Ministry of Science and ICT said. The total is up sharply from 98.8 billion won in 2019.
R&D will get 128 billion won, with the building of a related ecosystem to be allocated 99.3 billion won, followed by 6.3 billion for business support, the ministry said.
On R&D, 44.2 billion won will be injected into the advanced nanotech and materials sector in the new year, encompassing everything from very small sensors and components to the areas of health, energy and the environment.
Seoul is keen to build up its nanotech sector. Nanotechnology uses materials made on extremely small scales that possess unique traits such as improved strength, chemical properties and conductivity.
It said that another 40.9 billion won will be spent to help develop and win patents for critical new technologies, with 42.9 billion earmarked for making the country less reliant on foreign components. After Japan announced it will restrict the sale of key materials and components used to make semiconductors and screens, Seoul has beefed up its efforts to make such products locally.
Some 6.3 billion won will be spent on getting technologies and products to market, while a hefty 99.3 billion won has been allocated to supporting the expansion of domestic infrastructure for cutting-edge semiconductor materials, for instance by creating a testbed for products made in the country. Testbeds can make it easier for firms here to buy local components instead of imports.
The ministry also said that up to 1,000 trainees in the areas of industrial materials and manufacturing equipment production will get state support in 2020, up from 800 this year.
"Nanotech and industrial materials are critical for the growth of the country's parts and components industry and can lead to the convergence of various business sectors that will bring about more value added wealth," Ko Seo-gon, the director general of the R&D Policy Bureau at the ministry said.
He said with the new injection of funds, Seoul is committed to providing timely and adequate support so as to bring about positive results.
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Source: Yonhap News (Dec. 22, 2019)