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Korea Looks to Become Robot Powerhouse

POSTED 04/20/2009

By Kim Jae-kyoung, Staff Reporter
The Korea Times

South Korea aims to join the ranks of the world's top three countries in robotic technology and applications by 2013 through the investment of one trillion won in research and development (R&D) in related technology.

At a meeting chaired by President Lee Myung-bak, Friday, the National Science and Technology Council finalized its master plan to develop the nation's robot industry to transform the country into a robot powerhouse. Under the initiative, the government is seeking to make the country a global leader in the area by 2018.

The Robot Special Act will serve as the legal basis for fostering the industry.

``By 2013, the domestic robot market will reach four trillion won in value, lift Korea's global market share to 13.3 percent and boost robot exports to $1 billion,' Knowledge and Economy Minister Lee Youn-ho said.

Korea plans to capture 20 percent of the global market, with 20 trillion won in domestic production and $7 billion in exports by 2018. It estimates that the industry will create 500 robot companies and generate 13,800 jobs over the next five years.

This year alone, the government plans to spend 200 billion won ? 68.1 billion won on the development of original technology for the robot industry, 66.2 billion won on the establishment of Robot Land, 8.7 billion won on the development of artificial intelligence, and 5.2 billion won on training robot specialists.

At the meeting, the government also decided to raise the area's R&D budget by 10 percent next year in a move to increase the number of companies with first class intellectual property rights to 650 by 2012.