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< Roadmap for 2018 Government R&D Investment Drawn Up > (March 14)

- Enhancing S&T capabilities, boosting economic vigor highlighted in plan

The Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning has prepared the "2018 Government R&D Investment Roadmap and Milestones (Plan)".
The Ministry has been composing an investment plan for 2018 since last year, and held hearings from late February to early March to collect input from research institutes, the industry and related agencies; the roadmap was reviewed and confirmed during a meeting of the 27th National Science and Technology Review Board steering committee held on March 14.
The plan includes measures to increase investment into three core areas and nine subsidiary areas as part of an active response to the on-going 4th Industrial Revolution, including strengthening S&T capabilities for the future, ensuring renewed vigor for the economy, and enhancing the quality of life of citizens.
Key provisions of the 2018 investment roadmap are as follows:

First, in order to strengthen S&T capabilities for creating future growth:

1. Increase support for self-driven creative and pioneering research.
The government plans to continue to increase support for creative and pioneering individual and team research, as well as strengthen support for competitive R&D that allows multiple research projects for the same topic in order to encourage pioneering research in cutting-edge and unexplored fields. The roadmap also calls for support for developing creative talent who will lead R&D in cutting-edge convergence research such as Intelligent IT and bio-science.

2. Build an R&D ecosystem based on openness, sharing and collaboration in order to encourage open innovation.
The government will strengthen the partnership network between various research and support agencies--between the government and the private sector, ministries, international and domestic, public and private entities--and expand the "cross-ministry matching fund program" that will allow multiple ministries to share the cost of research via a matching fund in a new type of collaborative model; these efforts will help prepare for the 4th IR, new infectious diseases and other areas that will require coordinated efforts between government ministries.

3. Support technologies for the 4th Industrial Revolution.
The government will increase support for basic sciences such as brain science and industrial mathematics, and fundamental technologies such as AI, HW and ICBM (data and network technologies) in order to invest in key intelligent IT technologies. The roadmap also includes provisions for investing into the development new products and services that will be created by the convergence of key intelligent IT technologies. In order to support the "smartiziation" of existing industries, the government will increase investment into convergence research involving ICT and software technologies, machinery and manufacturing, life science, material science, agriculture and basic sciences.

Second, to ensure continued economic dynamism,

4. Expand support to secure new growth engines.
The government will assist the creation of new industries and technologies based on its Future Growth Engines and National Strategy projects, strengthening the links between these two key projects as well as backing the development of high-growth potential fields that can create fundamental technologies such as bio-science, services and energy.

5. Strengthen support for R&D that can assist existing industries.
R&D support will be expanded to smartize the manufacturing industry and secure key fundamental technologies for current leading industries. R&D support programs for SMEs and high-potential enterprises will be diversified, along with support for follow-up research related to intellectual property (IP).

6. Increase support for creating new jobs based on science and technology.
Startup support R&D will be expanded, with additional support for the bio-industries that will service as a prime engine for creating new jobs in the future. The government will also increase support for large-scale R&D projects that can potentially create large numbers of new jobs.

Third, to enhance the social roles of science and technology for increasing the quality of life of our citizens,

7. ICT and software will be combined to further the smartization and advancement of public services, and enhance our quality of life by addressing issues related to transportation, logistics, housing, construction, toxic substances and micro-fine dust.

8. Disaster prevention and response systems will be further innovated.
With disasters and crises becoming larger in scale and more complex, a collaborative response system will be created, with more active responses mounted to earthquakes, livestock diseases and other problems with current relevance.

9. Strengthen support for R&D in public technologies to preemptively address threats to our economy and society, such as demographic shifts, climate change and resource depletion.

In addition, R&D investment will be made more efficient.
Low-priority or lagging projects will be restructured by the responsible ministry on their own initiative, with sunset rules on routine and non-productive projects, an overhaul of redundant initiatives and budgets that reflect project evaluations, which will help reduce R&D costs and increase efficiency.

The Ministry disseminated the details of the investment plan across all ministries and agencies conducting or related to R&D, which will use the new roadmap as a guide for determining 2018 R&D budget needs and the ministry in turn using it as the gold standard for assigning and adjusting public R&D budgets.

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