Korea has achieved rapid economic growth to become one of major economies in the world and has successfully transformed itself to a global leader in innovation and technology. It has the 4th largest economy in Asia, and the 10th in the world. It currently has a population of 51 million, and its GDP reached to 1,682 billion euro, and GDP per Capita to 32,583 euro.
Korea R&D spending as a share of GDP has exceeded 4.81% in 2020, which is the 2nd highest level among all countries. Regarding the pool of researchers, the total number of researchers per 1,000 population is greater than 7, which is very high compared to the major countries. It came from the strong education and the investments in natural science and engineering.
Korea had a great success especially on the performance in the publications and patents. It has the 12th largest number of publications (SCI) among all countries, and the 4th in patent applications to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).
In European Innovation Scoreboard 2021, Korea was valued as “the most innovative country” and “the innovation Leader” whose performance level was almost 36% above the level of EU. And it also showed that the relative-to-EU performance has increased most in Korea during the period of 2014-2021.
Information and communication technology has been a key engine for economic growth in Korea. Korea is the first country who commercialized 5G wireless communication networks, and shares 23.6% of global semi-conductor market (2018). ICT is the core technology for the scientific innovations since it facilitates convergences of different technologies. Given that there will be enormous playgrounds for the software technology in the coming era, many efforts of Korean researchers have been and will be done, to improve their competitiveness in areas of AI, Data, Network with the support of the government.
Main outcomes in 2019
Korea succeeded in commercializing the world’s first 5G network
LG unveiled world’s first rollable OLED TV
BT in Korea is important as an alternative for a sustainable society in response to global population growth and aging, resource depletion and climate change, also it is a new industry with high growth potential and employment. In addition to increasing venture investment, companies in various fields such as IT and services are expanding. Competitiveness in infrastructure aspects such as biological evaluation from bench to bed is excellent in Korea. Reinforcing global competitiveness and increasing market share of Korean companies by improving regulations on biomedical and medical devices are expanding by government support.
Main outcomes in 2019
Researchers in Seoul National University discovered a mechanism of brain that regulate the substance causing Alzheimer's disease
Institute of Basic Science identified brain drainage pathway inducing dementia