National R & D Projects

The current National R&D Projects include. The Highly Advanced National Project (HAN Project), Strategic National R&D Project, and International Cooperative Project. The cumulative investmen in these projects amounted to US $2.66 billion during the period of 1982 - 1995. A Project Based System (PBS) of management was employed for efficient management of the National R&D projects.

(Table 3.1) Investment for National R & D Projects (MOST)

Unit' US $ Million

'82~'91 '92 '93 '94 '95 Total
Total 1,205.4 262.5 308.4 361.6 521.7 2,659.6

On the other hand, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy sponsors the Industrial Technology Development and Alternative Energy Technology Development Projects and the Telecommunication Technology Development Projects are financed and managed by the Ministry of Information-Communication. The Ministry of Information-Communication plays the leading role in the construction of an information super-highway, which will be completed by the early 2000s.

Highly Advanced National (HAN) R & D Projects

In 1992, the Korean government launched the highly advanced national project, called G - 7, with the aim of turning Korea into one of the top seven technologically advanced nations. The first phase of the project was completed in 1994, and its second phase is currently being implemented. The HAN Project is aimed at obtaining core technologies in the strategic areas where Korea has the potential capacity to compete with the advanced countries based on its industrial foundation. Korea is not trying to upgrade its capacity in every field of industry and technology to the level of the advanced countries. Rather, it is trying to sustain competitiveness and superiority in selected fields by concentrating and directing its limited R & D resources.

The HAN Project has two categories of projects. The first category, product technology development projects, is related to specific high-technology products. The second category, fundamental technology development projects, includes the projects for the development of core technology that are considered essential to advancing the economy, society and welfare of the people. The seventeen main strategic fields of the first and second-phase HAN Project are shown in (Table 3.2).

The HAN Project is a large-scale R&D project based on investments 1 government and industries under a long-term plan, which is inter-mini in nature. Various R&D organizations such as universities, industries and government-supported research institutes participate in this project International cooperation is also being actively pursued.

The Korean government has comprehensively evaluated the results of the HAN Project accomplished during the 1st - phase R&D Period ('92-94), in order to decide if the Project would merit further continuance. To briefly summarize the results of the 1st-phase HAN Project, up to 2,500 patents were applied for and 550 were granted. Furthermore, 2,100 paper were presented at conferences and 1,900 papers were published in journals.

In addition, the new projects for the second-phase HAN Project have been selected in order to support the areas of technology that are cosidered very important, but have been insufficiently promoted. Consequently, four projects in product technology development have been selected, including the development of ASIC technology. Three projects in fundamental technology development also have been selected, including the development of advanced superconducting Tokamak.

Highly Advanced National Projects

Unit' US $ Million
Category R&D Projects Period Target Technologies Investment
Product Technology 1. New drugs and new agrochemicals '92-'97 To develop 2-3 new antibiotics & germicidal agents 246
2. B-Integrated Service and Digital Network (ISDN) '92-2001 To produce prototype products of 10 giga-ATM 856
3. Next - generation vehicle technology '92-'96 To develop an electric car of 120 km/h speed 563
4. Development of ASIC Technology '95-'98 To develop ASIC design technology for digital HDTV 128
5. Development of advanced technologies for flat panel displays '95-2001 To develop large-size(40"-55"), full color, plasma display panel 228
6. Development for '95-2001 Biomedical Engineering '95-2001 develop biomedical technologies for the diagnosis, rehabilitation, and prevention of diseases 217
7. Development of micromachining technologies and micro-machines '95-2001 To develop micro-machining technologies to make micro-parts or micromachines 103
Fundamental Technology 8. Next-generation semiconductor '93-'97 To develop basic & coretechnologies for making a superintegrated semiconductor 244
9.Advanced material for information, electronic and energy '92-2001 To develop 30 kinds of new advanced materials 240
10.Advanced manufacturing system '92-2001 To develop FIM, CIM & IMS 549
11. New functional biomaterials '92-2001 To develop process technology of bioactive, new material for commercialization 483
12. Environmental technology '92-2001 To develop core technologies 289
13. New energy technology '92-2001 To develop fuel cell system 357
14. Next-generation nuclear reactor '92-2001 To develop concept and basic design 297
15. Development of Advanced Superconduction Tokamak '95-2001 To develop compact, steady-state-capable, advanced superconduction tokamak 188
16. Development of human sensibility ergonomics technology '95-2001 To develop quantitative measurement and evaluation techniques for umderstanding human response to comfort and subject feeling 81
17. Development of Satellite image Data Processing Technology '96-2001 in the planning stage -
Total 17 Project


Strategic National R&D Projects


Recognizing that the coming 21st century will be an era of information and biotechnology, the Korean government took the initiative for the promotion of biotechnology by preparing a strategic plan for national R&D in biotechnology - the "Biotech 2000" program, in December, 1993. According to the national program, Korea plans to invest $2 billion for the period of 1994-1997, of which about 30% is government funded, to build up a scientific and technological foundation for the development of biotechnology. Ten strategic R&D projects were identified in six categories as shown in (Table 3.3).

(Table 3.3) Biotechnology R L D Projects

R&D Projects
Biomaterials 1. New Functional Biomaterials
2. Industrial Application of Biological Functions
health Care 3. Biomedical Engineering
4. Molecular Biological Study of Human Functions
5. Genome Analysis
Agriculture and Foods 6. Molecular Breeding & Cell Culture Technology
7. Food-Biotechnology
Environment, Bio-Safety & Bioresources Preservation & Utilization 8. Biodiversity and Environmental Protection
9. Evaluation Technology of Environment & BioSafety
Alternative Energy 10. Bioenergy Production
Basic Life Sciences

Computer Software

The size of the Korean software industry is relatively small, and the sortware technology of Korea lags behind that of advanced countries such as the U.S.A, Japan, and others. Korea plans to enter the ranks of the advanced countries in the field of software by the beginning of the 21st century. To achieve this goal, the Korean government set up the Software Technology Enhancement Project (STEP), which includes Han-Gul information processing technology, software engineering technology, and application software technology. In 1995, the Korean government invested US$8million.

(Table 3.4) Computer Software R & D Projects

R & D Projects
Han-Gul (Korean Language) Information Processing Technology Human-Interface based on Han-Gul
Han-Gul Information Database
Artificial-Intelligence Type Processor
Open Han-Gul Processor
Software Production and Engineering Technology Standardization Technology for Development Precedure
Information System Bulid-up Technology
Goal-Oriented Development Technology
Productivity and Quality Management Technology
Software Re-Engineering
Application Software Production Technology Computer Based Training Technology
Educational Software Standardization
Computer Graphics
Virtual Peality
Real Time Simulation
Artificial Intelligence


Korea launched the scientific satellites [KITSAT I, II] in 1992 and 1993, and sounding rockets [KSRI I, II] in 1993. Based on the experiences gained in launching these satellites and sounding rockets, the Korean government formulated several ambitious programs in the field of space technology. The two-stage sounding rocket program for observing the upper atmosphere was initiated in 1993, and the Korea Multipurpose Satellite (KOMPSAT) program, to be implemented jointly with the Space and Electronics Group of TRW Inc., was initiated in 1994. KOMPSAT will be launched in 1999. The KITSAT 3 program was also started in the latter part of 1995 to develop a more advanced scientific satellite.

The Korean government also started a mid-size airplane (seating capacity of 100 passengers) development program in 1994.

(Table 3.5) Aerospace R & D Projects

R & D Projects
System Technology Medium Size Airplane, Helicopter, Gas Turbine Engine
Multipurpose Satellite, Two-stage Sounding Rocket, KITSAT3
Parts & E1ement Technology Materials, Parts, and Key Element
Testing Facility Assembly, Integration and Testing Facilities for Satellites
Sub-sonic Wind Tunnel

Nuclear Energy

The Korean government, formulated a long-term nuclear R&D program to enhance technological capability and achieve self-sufficiency in nuclear energy supply. The areas in which the Korean government is interested are shown in (Table 3.6).

(Table 3.6) Nuclear R & D Projects

R & D Projects
Nuclear Reactor Technology
Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technology
Development of a next generation reactor
Development of advanced high burn-up fuel for PWR
Radioactive Waste Management Design and operation of permanent disposal facilities, and disposal technology development for low level waste and interim storage of spent fuels
Nuclear Safety Establishment of safety assessment technology for existing reactors an for accident prevention and mitigation
Radiation and RI Applications Development of high level RI sources an applications, establishment of useful RI recovery and application technology
Nuclear Power Plant Construction Technology Achievement of self-reliance in NPP construction


The Korean government is very interested in the development of marine resources and the protection of the ocean environment. In 1996, an interministry committee, which the Prime Minister presides over, mapped out a ocean development plan that calls for investment of about $33 billion over the next ten years. The projects presented by the committee include the following.

( i ) the establishment of a maritime management system, ( ii ) the exploration of resources at sea, (iii) the development of deep seabed mineral resources and energy. (iv ) the utilization of marine space, ( v ) the protection of the maritime ecosystem from contamination, (vi) an integrated coastal management system, and (vii) the promotion of international cooperation through the development of high technology and safety in maritime development.

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