South Korea to invest $22.3M in memory chip research

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, along with six private companies will jointly invest in memory chip research and development projects by universities or independent institutes over the next five years.

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South Korean government and six private firms signed a joint agreement to invest in memory chips R&D projects.

The South Korean government and six private companies will jointly invest in research and development (R&D) of new technologies by a third party.

The agreement was signed on Thursday between the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and six private firms, including the world's largest memory chipmaker Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix , Yonhap News reported on Thursday.

Under the agreement, the government and the six companies will jointly invest 25 billion won (US$22.27 million) over the next five years in R&D projects by universities or other independent institutes to develop new materials or technology for memory chips.

The intellectual property (IP) rights of any new technology or product developed will also belong to its developers, and the investing firms will benefit from the use of new advanced technologies to be developed, the ministry said.

The program will also be the first of its kind since previous arrangements for joint R&D mostly revolved around government support for R&D activities by firms themselves.

According to the ministry, South Korea currently supplies nearly half of the world's memory chips, but its share in the market for all semiconductors remains at around 14 to 15 percent.

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