President Park Geun-hye vowed Wednesday to help nurture South Korea's central region as a hub of the bioindustry as she opened the latest innovation center.
South Korea has been pushing to set up innovation centers across the country to match local startups and venture firms to conglomerates, known here as chaebol, to provide resources to smaller companies so that they can turn creative ideas into real businesses.
"I will make Osong a mecca of the bioindustry," Park said in a ceremony marking the launch of an innovation center in Cheongju, about 130 kilometers south of Seoul. Osong is located near Cheongju.
She said the innovation center in Cheongju will play a key role in combing ideas of startups and channeling research and development, as well as funds of conglomerates, into the bioindustry in the region.
LG, one of South Korea's largest family-controlled conglomerates, will provide more than 27,300 patents to smaller companies to help them explore new business opportunities, according to Park's office.
Last week, Hyundai Motor Group, the world's fifth-largest carmaker, also said it will provide about 1,000 unused patents to those who want to open automotive startups in an innovation center in Gwangju, a city located about 330 kilometers south of Seoul.
South Korea has so far created seven innovation centers, including one that is supported by Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-controlled conglomerate whose flagship unit is Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top smartphone maker.
South Korea plans to set up 10 other innovation centers in major cities across the country this year as part of Park's push to build a creative economy.
Park's signature creative economy vision calls for boosting the economy and creating jobs by turning creative ideas into real businesses through science and technology and information technology. (Yonhap)