South Korea makes up less than one percent of the world’s population, yet this inventive country’s list of accolades is remarkable, with a number one ranking in Bloomberg’s Global Innovation Index, two Korean companies showcased by Forbes in its annual World’s Most Innovative Companies list, and a solid seat as the US’s sixth largest goods trading partner.
An OECD report also acknowledges South Korea as the most active country that pursues scientific and technological innovations. Between 2010-12, the country during accounted for 14.1 percent of the total patents that were registered worldwide in the fields of the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, quantum computing, and telecommunications. In materials and nanotechnology such as graphene and wearable tech, Korea’s influence also grew to 21 percent during the period.
However, a growing area of Korea’s tech innovation is in automation technology, and this will be explored at a conference taking place in Silicon Valley next month. K-TECH 2015, “Automated Future: Human + Technology” includes a conference, business expo and startup pitch featuring the best in automation – from robotics and AI to automated manufacturing and so much more. The conference is the one event a year unveiling to the US market a first look at South Korea’s newest ideas and inventions, and bringing together business leaders to advance global partnerships in key tech sectors.
According to Andrew W. Wyckoff, the director of the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), “Korea is ready for next-generation innovation in production by equipping them with intensive manufacturing fields, high performance workforces with technical skills, and some corporations leading global technologies.”
The automation tech sector is also a key area of investment in the country – for example, South Korea’s government has just announced it is joining forces with Samsung to develop precision manufacturing robots to open up new opportunities for the local manufacturing sector. The government will be investing the equivalent of US$14.8 million in this project, which is expected to be completed by late 2018.
This market stood at $10.7 billion globally last year, with annual growth of 22 percent in the past six years. It is thought that growth could reach an average of 18 percent annually until 2018, with the use of robots in the manufacturing process accounting for 25 percent of the total by 2025 (from around 10 percent at present). In 2014, South Korea had the fourth largest robot market, with China leading the pact.
With South Korea’s innovation ranking and its growing tech entrepreneur ecosystem, it is no surprise that the number of US-based investments in Korean companies doubled between 2012 and 2014, and the value increased from US$8 million to US$600 million, according to data from PitchBook.
The K-TECH 2015 conference and expo will explore US-South Korea collaboration in this important area of automation technology and takes place between 12th-13th November 2015 at the Santa Clara Marriott, Santa Clara, California.
The conference gathers expert technologists, entrepreneurs, investors and corporate leaders to explore automation’s new developments, identify opportunities and challenges and discuss cross-border collaboration. In addition, as part of the business expo, forty leading Korean tech companies will present their latest innovations, offering a unique glimpse behind the technology and integration strategies that are powering one of Asia’s most dynamic economies. There will also be a startup pitch, showcasing to Silicon Valley 20+ promising Korean startups selected through a competitive process to make their exclusive debut. There will also be a job fair, in which top companies including LG Electronics, Samsung Research America, Doosan, Memebox and Paris Baguette USA will take part for recruitment opportunities.
Finally, the partner event GSAM 2015 (Global Summit for Advanced Manufacturing) hosts thought leaders in the manufacturing arena to share know-how from diverse markets and discuss the key industries reshaping the world.
For more information including registration details, click here.