The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) held the eleventh MPE (materials, parts and equipment) Industry Competitiveness Committee meeting on April 18 and announced the Ministry’s plan to nurture MPE firms into global companies with top-notch technological competitiveness and to expand core MPE areas and related strategic technologies.
The globalization strategy has been established to enable Korea’s MPE industries to respond to the rapidly changing global high-tech industrial landscape and serve as core supply chain partners.
First, the Korean government will push the development of high-tech MPE by placing emphasis on the three keywords: challenge, speed and open collaboration.
The seven areas and 150 technologies in MPE industries will be expanded to 10 areas and 200 technologies by adding three new areas, namely space, defense and hydrogen.
Each area will receive differentiated support depending on the nature of the industrial ecosystem.
For future materials and supercritical materials, a KRW 300 billion prefeasibility study will be launched (tentatively titled “MPE Alchemist Project”), and artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation (DX) will help shorten the development phase of 21 new materials, such as lightweight hybrid resin and super-tough biodegradable fiber.
The Government intends to also expand the global R&D cooperation network. While advancing the domestic supplier-buyer cooperation model, the scope of collaboration will be extended to include overseas buyers and clusters.
Second, Korea aims to support MPE firms’ production innovation to function as an innovation hub in the global supply chain.
By newly designating the national high-tech strategic special industrial complex and the MPE complex in the first half and third quarter of 2023, respectively, an innovation-leading national industrial map can be developed to form the world’s core cluster for high-tech MPE industries, creating a virtuous cycle across national strategic industries, MPE industries and regional industries.
Moreover, MOTIE will add to the currently 66 “top specialty” MPE firms so that their number reaches 200 by 2030, and provide special support to domestic MPE firms to nurture them into solid MPE powerhouses.
The growth roadmap for relevant items and companies will be drawn up with the help of the best internal and external tech and market experts, which will be supported throughout seven plus years of long-term R&D integrating both source and commercial technology.
Third, the Government will give full measure to promote exports so that Korea can grow into a supply chain core partner.
Firms will be closely supported throughout all stages of export, from overseas market research to local market penetration. Considering the strong B2B tendencies of MPE items, the focus will be on finding “Big Buyers”, reinforcing B2B matching programs with domestic companies and utilizing the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA)’s overseas Global Partnering (GP) centers as major export bases for MPE firms.
Minister Lee Chang-yang remarked that “bold investment and seamless support will be provided for the MPE industry, as it is the core of both the manufacturing ecosystem and high-tech industry’s competitiveness.”