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Friday, January 14, 2011

US$ 300 million for Robot City Daegu

Daegu, the 3rd largest city in Korea, and host for the IAAF World Championchips 2011, Aug 27 - Sept 4. is emerging as a mecca for the high-tech robot industry in Korea as the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) has selected the city as its priority negotiation partner to be the home of the envisioned Korea Robot Industry Promotion Institute. According to a recent report from the 'Robot Industrial Cluster Creation Project' about US$ 322 million (357.5 billion KRW) would be invested 2012-2016 to convert Daegu into the hub of the nation's robot industry. 
Daegu has a variety of related R&D infrastructures - Pragmatic Applied Robot Institute (PARI) of Daegu-Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (DGIST), Pohang Institute of Intelligent Robotics (PIRO), Daegu branches of Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), Robot Business and Industry Promotion Center (ROBIC) of Kyungpook National University and Daegu Machinery Institute of Components & Materials (DMI). 

Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement

In 2010 the state-run Korea Institute for Robot Industry Advancement (KIRIA) was launched aimed to lay the foundation for building up the local robotics industry. The institute will take charge of all government-led research projects and establish industrial support policies so that South Korea gains an edge in the robotics field, which has the potential to change both the business sector and everyday lives. The institute will be headed by Joo Dong-young, who headed both the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards.

The City of English teaching assistant robots

Image: KIST/

Daegu has already drawn attention from international media for deploying 29 English teaching assistant robots at 21 high schools in the city, and conduct pilot education until March 2011. According to a city official the pilot project is expected to help form a consensus on the robotics industry among citizens, and make major contributions to enhancing the image of Daegu as a city spearheading the robotics sector. If this pilot project receives a positive response from students, the city will consider expanding the introduction of robots in phases.

A Second Korean Miracle
In 1960, South Korea was poorer than two-thirds of the nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Today it’s the world’s most digital nation, with a per capita income of nearly $28,000, higher than New Zealand ($27K) or Portugal ($22K). This transformation largely took place during 1965-1985, and is known as the “Korean Miracle. South Korea is pushing ahead with a host of interlocking technology initiatives bold enough to potentially make the period 2010-2025 a second Korean miracle.
South Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge and Economy has announced a service robot industry promotional plan, which will see investment of US $26 million (30 billion KRW) in 2011 alone. The plan focuses on cleaning and educational robots, and will bolster international market penetration, the discovery of new sectors with high growth potential, and the development of better robotics technologies.  Part of the plan includes strategic marketing for major territories, such as surveillance robots for the Middle East, healthcare robots for the U.S. and E.U., and cleaning robots for China and Southeast Asia.  Furthermore, they’re pushing for more joint R&D projects with Japan, the U.S., and Germany, and will build more robot R&D centers at universities at home.

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