South Korea to invest $5b by 2020 in IoT and smart cars

South Korea has announced plans to foster the growth of IoT and its smart car industry, and will invest a total of 5.6 trillion won by 2020, with 1 trillion won allocated for this year.

According to the South Korea Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy, the government's goal is to foster an Internet of Things (IoT) and smart car business by 2024 that will be worth 100 billion won ($90 million).

During 2015, the government will provide 1 trillion won in funding for various IT-related industries, including 77.2 billion won ($70 million) for IoT; 28.2 billion won ($25.5 million) for smart cars; 70 billion won ($63 million) for intelligence robots; 98.3 billion won ($89 million) for smart wearables; 77.1 billion won ($70 million) on its 5G networks; and 60.8 billion won ($55 million) on intelligence semiconductors.

Flagship projects such as making convergence materials and multi-screen contents will receive support foremost, while a drone for fish detection in slates will be funded with the aim of a 2017 launch.

The two federal government ministries have been combining projects that were previously run separately in order to find new a growth engine for the country together. Earlier this month, they announced that South Korea will invest $300 million in biotech.

Largely due to the rise of China, there are major concerns among the public that most of the country's current mainstays, such as the semiconductor and automobile industries, will no longer be enough to sustain growth for the future. Calls for a more robust ecosystem led by smaller firms have also been rising.

The government additionally plans to foster experts in each area, with small and mid-sized firms developing the technology themselves, and conglomerates working to commercialise them.

"We hope our new plan will bring life into the South Korean economy," said a ministry spokesperson.

Source: ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)

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