Ministry of Science and ICT announces $5.29 billion investment in 2023 R&D.

The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT has announced that it will invest KRW 6.6726 trillion ($5.29 billion) in research and development (R&D) in science, technology, information, communications, and broadcasting technology by 2023.

This represents a 3.9% increase in the budget from last year, with KRW 5.2418 trillion earmarked for science and technology and KRW 1.4308 trillion for information, communications, and broadcasting technology.

The ministry has identified ten priority areas for investment in three main categories: Developing Future Core Technologies, Strengthening Science and Technology/ICT Foundations and Capabilities, and Disseminating Research Results into Practice.

Accordingly, the Ministry will allocate KRW 3.4524 trillion for the development of future core technologies, supporting specific sectors, including carbon neutrality (KRW 147.3 billion), advanced biotechnology (KRW 556.3 billion), materials and equipment (KRW 292.5 billion), space technology ( KRW 427.8 billion), future energy (KRW 333.9 billion), and quantum technology (KRW 815.9 billion).

Newly funded projects include the development of innovative small modular reactors (KRW 3.1 billion) and molten salt reactors (KRW 4.5 billion) to strengthen the nuclear power plant ecosystem.

A molten salt reactor (MSR) is a type of nuclear reactor that operates by mixing coolant and nuclear fuel into a single liquid.

In addition, the ministry will support the development of quantum sensors (KRW 7.1bn) and material innovation quantum simulators (KRW 7.6bn) as part of its efforts to become a leading country in quantum technology.

The ministry will also support the successful launch of the 3rd Nuri and the 7th multi-purpose satellite and the development of a next-generation launch vehicle and a Korean satellite navigation system to become a space power.

This year, KRW 2.629tn will be allocated to basic research, an increase of 2.5% from last year’s KRW 2.136tn).

In addition, the Ministry will establish the ‘Innovation Research Center’ (KRW 11.2bn ) to research essential national strategic technologies and the ‘Basic Research on Digging a Well’ (KRW 3bn ) to support stable studies of young researchers.

In addition, the Ministry will support projects for regionally-led R&D innovation, including improving carbon-neutral core technologies such as solar cells, and support disaster research and development linked to local needs, such as firefighting technology for high-rise buildings.

The ministry will also improve the R&D process, including reviewing the demand for the construction of extensive research facilities every six months, expanding the use of planning experts to respond promptly to planning requests for promising future technologies, and establishing a market demand survey process at the project planning stage for information and communications projects to facilitate private investment and commercialization.

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