• Global Companies Expand Open Innovation Investment in South Korea
    2021-06-30 hit 970

    Global Companies Expand Open Innovation Investment in South Korea

    - As of 2021, 59 open innovation organizations of 52 overseas companies are in operation -

    - OI Organizations are diversified into antennas, labs and CVCs beyond R&D centers -


    The Korea International Trade Association (Chairman: Christopher Koo) and Mind the Bridge (MTB), an official consulting firm of 'Startup Europe Partnership (SEP)', which is a startup support organization of the European Union (EU), jointly issued a report titled 'Corporate Innovation in South Korea' on June 30th. 


    According to the report, as of 2021, 52 overseas global companies are running 59 open innovation organizations in Korea and sourcing Korea's innovative technologies through 3,500 tech scouts.


    Overseas companies mainly operate four types of open innovation organizations: small offices (antenna), innovation labs (Lab), Research and Development (R&D) centers, and corporate venture capitals (CVC). The R&D centers carve out of the biggest share with 27 followed by innovation labs (16), CVCs (9), and antennas (7).


    The report stated, “Until 2000, overseas companies operated an open innovation organizations in South Korea only in the form of an R&D center where more than 50 to 1,000 researchers gathered to conduct systematic research and development of new technologies and solutions. Howeber, the recent trend is to pursue flexible and light organizations,” and added, “In particular, the advancement of innovation labs, which did not exist before 2015, is very active.”


    According to the report, it appeas that 13 innovation labs in the form of incubators or accelerators, 6 CVCs, investment organizations in companies, that improve access to startups, and 3 small antennas with 1 to 10 employees were established in South Korea over the last five years. 


    The United States has 17 global companies operating open innovation organizations in South Korea, which is the largest number, followed by Germany (10), France (8), Japan (4), and the UK (3). In terms of investment, information and communication (IT) and software drew the largest number at 8, followed by telecommunication (6), chemistry (6), bio·life science (5), manufacturing (4), mobility (4), and electronics (3).


    The report said, “Compared to France, the United Kingdom, and Germany, company-led startup investment is particularly active in Korean startup ecosystem,” and added, “Over the past five years, 13 innovative organizations of large foreign companies such as Bayer, Boeing, Huawei, and Daimler have been newly established in South Korea, and R&D centers of various sizes have steadily increased. South Korea is an attractive country as a basic R&D hub for cultivating technological innovation.”


    Park Pil-jae, chief of KITA Global Startup Center, said, “In the past, in order to support the global scaleup of Korean startups, we first proposed cooperation with large overseas companies. However, in recent years, global companies offer cooperation proposals first in many cases,” and added, “We will support various cooperation opportunities so that South Korea can establish itself as a global innovative R&D hub.”

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