< Long-term Service R&D Strategy Road-map and Investment Plan Announced > (February 3)
Rising income levels and the development of smart technologies have continued to boost demand for new services; with services permeating throughout all industries, the service sector is increasingly being regarded as a key source of growth for future economic expansion. Korea's economy has kept pace with these global trends, with services accounting for 60% of all jobs and added value. These changes are fueling discussions on enhancing the productivity of Korea's service industry.
On February 1, 2017, the government convened the "2nd Meeting of Economic Ministers" for 2017 under the purview of the deputy prime minister, and announced the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning's "Long-term Service R&D Strategy Road-map and Investment Plan". The meeting confirmed the strategies and key tasks that were outlined and reviewed during the first Service R&D Special Committee meeting held on January 31 (Chairman: Vice-minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Hong Nam-ki).
The road-map and plan call for cross-ministry collaboration on three key strategies aimed at boosting service industry competitiveness and thereby increasing Korea's potential growth rate via service R&D innovation.
The details of the strategy package are as follows:
[Strategy 1] Strategic expansion, carefully management of public investment in service R&D
TFirst, both the absolute amount and percentage of service R&D investment will be continuously expanded over the next five years to provide a systematic support mechanism for the "Service Economy Development Strategy" established last July. Specific sectors with high lab-to-enterprise and convergence potential will be selected for focused investment, with stronger support for public service innovation that will enable citizens to experience first-hand the results of service R&D.
In addition, service R&D projects will be reformed to be more user-oriented, specialized and up-scaled, with open and constant evaluations carried out using effectiveness (qualitative) assessment criteria as part of an effort to improve the way service R&D projects are managed.
[Strategy 2] Boosting exports, strengthening domestic demand through service R&D
Each government agency will create specific service R&D plans for the industries under the auspices that reflect global trends and technology development, in order to accelerate the commercialization and globalization of high-potential services. Second, R&D investment will be increased for the social service industry and to enhance social service delivery in the face of a rapidly-aging society; disaster prevention and relief R&D will be strengthened to increase safety by providing weather and earthquake forecasts and victim relief services. Third, a support system that integrates and links the entire R&D process from its very first stages will be built in order to encourage the creation and commercialization of new services, along with the development of R&D platforms that utilize and apply new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics and big data.
[Strategy 3] Creating a service R&D ecosystem
First, regulatory barriers against service R&D development will be reformed in order to enable service companies to take the next step forward unhindered. Second, on-the-job training consignments to universities and enterprise-integrated training programs will ensure that current industry participants receive relevant and field-based training. Third, a "Service R&D Support Center" will be established to assist partnerships between companies and universities/government-funded research centers, existing technology information systems will be enlisted to provide customized information, and a separate intellectual property protection system designed for service R&D will be established by expanding coverage of protection and creating a review track in cooperation with related government agencies.
Vice-minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning Hong Nam-ki said, "Korea's historical focus on manufacturing-driven growth has led to relatively little attention being paid to the growth potential of our service industries and the importance of service R&D," and added that "the government will continue to provide strategic support for service R&D and identify high-potential new service industries in a cross-ministry effort to develop our service industry and enable our companies to compete effectively on the global arena."