The South Korean government is drawing up a 10-year plan to promote and develop 3D printing into a new growth market, and help transform the manufacturing sector.
The country's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning as well as Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy have been tasked to gather feedback from industry players and the public and work on the details for the roadmap, which are scheduled to be ready by October.
"The 3D printing industry is a new growth engine to bring about innovation in the manufacturing realm," Lee Kwan-seok, an official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, said in a statement Wednesday reported Yonhap News Agency. "It is anticipated to take a key role in the country's creative economy drive by converging with the ICT sector."
The Seoul administration has been looking to establish new business and job opportunities by merging ICT and other industry segments, as it aims to drive the local economy.
In its statement, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning noted that the 3D market is currently dominated by a handful of global companies that own the core technologies. "Although a few South Korean firms hold their own technologies, their competitive edge in the sector is still blunt compared with global leading companies," the ministry said.
It added that a roadmap spearheaded by the government was necessary to better coordinate research efforts currently being conducted in silos at the various universities and institutions.
According to the Yonhap, the ministry in June said it planned to deploy 3D printers at 227 libraries and 5,885 schools across the country by 2017, and is targeting for 10 million South Koreans to use 3D printers by 2020.