The government said it would prove more than 100 billion won ($82.4 million) a year for three promising industries, including the biohealth sector.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups unveiled these and other plans as part of its “Innovation Plan to Support SMEs’ R&D” program on Wednesday.
The ministry decided to concentrate its support on prospective technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, providing preferential financing of 200 billion won or more a year for 20 sectors designated as the Fourth Industrial Revolution strategic technologies, through public biddings.
The 20 key strategic technologies divide into 152 items, including biotech, system semiconductor, future car, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, 3D printing, blockchain, and high-tech materials.
For the three future-leading sectors -- system semiconductor, future car, and biohealth -- the government will spend more than 100 billion won a year.
The government’s support for R&D by SMEs has been limited to 100 million won a year per company. However, it will expand the support period and size to more than three years and up to 2 billion won, allowing companies to receive “scale-up” support, stage by stage.
To encourage bottom-up support for SMEs, the government will ban helping companies in a top-down way, and mandate a single company’s receiving R&D support to a maximum four times, to prevent sinking firms from using the subsidy to keep afloat.
The ministry also said it would help SMEs in materials, components and equipment sector develop technologies independently.
To facilitate mutually beneficial R&D for both conglomerates and SMEs, the government will utilize “Private-Public Joint R&D Investment Agreement Fund,” through which it can offer a matching fund.
The ministry will push for “Strong Small Companies 100+Startups 100” project to select and support 100 companies armed with technology, and another 100 with excellent business items and technologies in the materials/components/equipment sector.
The government said it aimed to increase the proportion of R&D by industry-academic-research cooperation from 39 percent in 2018 to 50 percent in the long term.
The ministry will benchmark Germany’s Fraunhofer Society’s model, in which a research organization conducts R&D for businesses to reduce companies risks from
“We will support SMEs to become leaders of new industries, helping them to achieve technological innovations and take opportunities in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era,” SMEs and Startups Minister Park Young-sun said.
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