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S. Korea embarks on global tech tie-up project

Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy)
South Korea launched a global research and development cooperation program Tuesday to help local materials, parts and equipment makers forge technology tie-ups with German auto giant BMW and other foreign firms.

Under the program, the government will invest 100 billion won ($90.1 million) over the next three years starting in 2021 to help domestic firms to make inroads into global supply chains, the industry ministry said.

For this year's pilot project, Seoul has chosen seven consortia between South Korean companies and global industrial behemoths, including the one between BMW and self-driving startup Seoul Robotics.

According to the ministry, BMW and Seoul Robotics will cooperate in developing a rider recognition system for autonomous driving over the next three years.

The envisioned system would be applied to BMW production lines, helping Seoul Robotics generate millions of dollars in overseas sales.

South Korean component and material supplier LMS will join hands with Belgian R&D hub for nano and digital technologies IMEC to develop a fixed-type auto chip sensor for autonomous driving.

The government plans to provide 3 billion won in financial aid for the joint project.

RFHIC Corp., a local maker of chips for telecommunication equipment, will work with the German research institute Fraunhofer to jointly develop technology for a high-powered, high-efficiency electricity amplifier.

The ministry also said three local agencies -- the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology, and the Korea Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology -- are tasked with exploring would-be foreign participants and supporting local firms' R&D and exports. (Yonhap)
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