Samsung launches foundation to support local tech development

The Samsung Future Technology Foundation will invest US$1.34 billion over a 10-year period to support development of materials, hardware, and industry convergence-related techs, and patents will belong to developers.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on
The Samsung foundation will assist technicians and researchers on technology development, and target SMEs who have patents but financial problems.

Samsung Group said on Monday it will invest a total of 1.5 trillion won (US$1.34 billion) over the next 10 years to establish a new foundation for South Korea to develop patents in the next-generation technologies.

The group said the foundation, named "Samsung Future Technology Foundation", will focus on developing materials, hardware, and industry convergence-related technology, The Korea Times reported.

Samsung plans to spend 300 billion won (US$269 million) as seed money to set up the foundation. From 2013 to 2017, the conglomerate will invest 750 billion won (US$674 million) followed by an additional 750 billion won (US$674 million) investment by 2020.
According to Rhee In-yong, chief communications officer at Samsung at a press briefing Monday, developers will completely own patents while Samsung will focus on supporting technicians and researchers to yield visible results.

The foundation's investment will depend on the nature of business projects and there will be no barrier on business proposals, Rhee added.

"The foundation will pick up more local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which have patents but some financial problems. Qualified local researchers will get a chance to collaborate with the world's renowed scholars for future projects," Lee Kyun, hee, Samsung Electronics chairman, said.

The announcement comes after Lee told South Korea's president Park Geun-hye during her visit to the U.S. last week Samsung generally agreed with the government ongoing's initiatives to achieve a "creative" economy" outlined in February this year, which called for using IT as a main tool for economic growth.

Lee had stressed the new policy initiative was designed to boost South Korea's economy and promised the president to try his best to bring returns to match up with the initiatives, which will create new business opportunities and jobs by combining information and communications technologies (ICT) with other economic sectors.

Moving forward, Samsung plans to allocate more investment to strengthen the competitiveness of South Korea's future materials as a strategy to reduce the country's heavy reliance on other countries for such resources.

"Securing the competitiveness for future materials is strongly recommended in order to maintain [the country's] current leverage in hardware-related technologies. South Korea is relying more on future materials to be used in future technologies," Rhee said.

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