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[Policies Today] In Korea
[ Issue 134 Page 13 ] Wednesday, June 03, 2015, 23:33:46 Dongsung Park Staff Reporter dstompark@gmail.com

Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) Suggest Greater Government Investment in and Support For Intellectual Property

On November 9, HRI presented their comparative economic study on the characteristics of domestic investment in intellectual properties (IIIP, unofficial acronym). In the report, Korea’s IIIP budget has increased greatly from 4.0% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 and 5.7% in 2013. HRI also suggested that IIIP plays a central role of national growth after economic crises by showing how IIIP had contributed to national growth by 28.6% during the 2008 global economic crisis. This was in correlation with how Korea’s yearly growth rate of IIIP is 7.0%, much higher than GDP growth rate. On a separate note, it was also suggested that Korean IIIP was strongly biased towards research and development (R&D) and civilian based compared to other advanced nations, such as the United States (US), Australia, and Canada. The fact that non-R&D and contents investment took only 28.8% of the IIIP budget was also emphasized.

HRI thus appealed that IIIP strongly affects national economy and that the government should increasingly partake in its control by increasing budget and more actively interacting with the civilian sector. Special emphasis was placed on promoting fundamental science and R&D. Interestingly, HRI suggested that industry, academia, and research (IAR, unofficial acronym) and policies should take greater role in increasing investment efficiency; this is in agreement with the government’s legislative efforts reported in the last issue (suggested amendments Bill 1912025, 1912022, and 1912023) and we infer that there is a general consensus in Korea that greater governmental involvement in research is preferred.

Government Promotes Creative Economy

The government will construct 19 Creative Economy Innovation Centres (CEIC) around Korea. Focusing on industrializing the ideas and technologies owned civilians and corporations, this policy aims to expedite the commercialization of potentially profitable ideas in both nationwide and local areas. The CEIC are efforts to make offline interactions with the public in local areas more available. Finance-wise, the fund is planned to increase to 65 billion KRW and the Institute Knowledge Inventory System (IKIS), along specialized universities, gained 15 billion KRW for R&D subsidy.

The government is also inclined to find ways to apply tax credit policies of the Korean Commission for Corporate Partnership (KCCP) to stimulate small to medium sized corporations’ use of the innovation centres of their larger counterpart. Public research centres will also cooperate as professionals in the IAR sectors will form teams to actively seek out company demand for provided services. This will aim to relieve the difficulties faced by many small sized industries. Further development seems due as IKIS and specialized universities also aim to target the variety of corporations’ demand for technology.

Prime Minister Jung emphasized that successful cases in local industries are crucial in Creative Economy gaining momentum. Although the policies are not specific to science and technology, from the fact that much funding is aimed towards R&D and technology, it is obvious that the policies aim to heighten the general technology level in Korean economy. This is in line with the central focus of Creative Economy as Technological Innovation chiefly lies in the industrialization and development of potentially profitable but previously un-commercialized contents from the IAR sector.

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