South Korea is planning to invest nearly $900 million next year to accelerate the development of blockchain, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.
In an August 14, 2018, press release from the 5th Ministerial Meeting entitled Growth through Innovation, Deputy Prime Minister Kim Dong Yeon is summarized as saying “The government has decided to work on a platform economy, whose impact is powerful and far-reaching.”
“There have been discussions among ministries and private sector experts on how to develop a platform economy, and we have come up with the four projects in which we will continue to invest with a long-term perspective,” the statement continued.
The projects that he outlined included:
- building a digital platform for big data and AI, along with promoting blockchain technology to secure data transactions and the sharing economy;
- setting up a hydrogen fuel cell supply chain; and
- developing an education program to meet the demand for a qualified workforce for these industries in the future.
While the release did not specify how the funds will be allocated, a total of five trillion won (approximately $4.5 billion) will be spent in 2019 on eight pilot projects for the digital platform economy, an increase of over two trillion won ($1.75 billion) from 2018. Over the next five years, Yeon anticipates that a total of nearly 10 trillion won ($9 billion) will be spent on the projects.
The news follows an announcement in June of this year from The Ministry of Science and ICT which revealed a blockchain technology development strategy aimed at securing a global competitive edge in the emerging technology. The ministry will invest in six pilot projects across an array of industries to kick start the process. The government also announced its intentions to establish a blockchain technical support center to help improve the technological competitiveness of private companies and to provide facilities where companies can test their blockchain platforms and services.