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Korea to give innovative R&D initiative a $750 million boost

[Photo by MK DB]

According to Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea,

The South Korean government is poised to allocate 1 trillion won ($750 million) in supporting pioneering research and development (R&D) endeavors and plans to invest 5 percent of its budget by 2027, according to officials.

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced these new measures aimed at fostering “innovative and progressive” R&D on Sunday following a national science and technology advisory meeting two days ago. The national R&D investment plan and criteria for 2025, providing strategic guidance and principles for allocating government R&D funds and adjusting guidelines, were also announced alongside the measures.

Central to the government‘s R&D investment strategy for the coming year is to promote R&D projects aiming at being “pioneering and top tier.” This underscores a commitment to supporting forward-looking endeavors capable of addressing challenges, even if these projects could fail.

A total of 21 projects from six ministries that have the potential to meet global standards and spark innovative developments were selected under this R&D initiative. Notable projects include the Ministry of Science and ICT’s challenge R&D project and the Ministry of Health and Welfare‘s medical research project inspired by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).

The budget for these projects will increase to 5 percent of the government’s total R&D budget by 2027. With the government‘s 2027 total R&D budget projected at 31.6 trillion won according to the medium-term fiscal plan, 5 percent translates to around 1.58 trillion won. The selection process for innovative and challenging R&D initiatives will also be expanded starting in 2024, with additional selections planned for the first half of the year. The 2024 budget for innovative and progressive R&D projects is around 700 billion won, or around 2.6 percent of the government’s total R&D expenditure.

Alongside this budgetary support, the government aims to create an environment conducive to the operation of innovative R&D projects. This entails granting project leaders full authority over planning and evaluation, with evaluations focusing more on a qualitative, process-oriented approach, along with a legal framework that will be built by revising the existing national laws governing R&D activities.

A task force dedicated to promoting innovative R&D endeavors will also be formed. Comprising representatives from relevant ministries, research management agencies, and on-site managers, the task force will oversee project progress checks, address on-site challenges, and chart the course for new R&D initiatives and project collaborations.

By Ko Jae-won and Chang Iou-chung

Copyrights Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea. All Rights Reserved.

Source: Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea (March 18, 2024)

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