KETI Aims to be Strong Partner for SMEs & ‘First Mover’ in 4th Industrial Revolution
President Kim Young-sam of Korean Electronics Technology Institute (KETI). (Photos: KETI)
KETI is to expand its research capabilities as a leading technology platform provider, departing from the conventional “electronics parts” mold, President Kim Young-sam of Korean Electronics Technology Institute (KETI) said recently.
The following are excerpts of an interview between NewsWorld and President Kim, in which he spoke of KETI’s achievements and future plans.
Question: Would you introduce KETI to our readers?
Answer: KETI is a specialized production technology R&D institute, established in 1991 with the goal of helping SMEs and mid-size enterprises create new industries through technology innovation and new technology development.
It is a public R&D institution responsible for spearheading the development of advanced core technologies in the electronics/IT sectors and supporting technology innovation and commercialization by extensively spreading technologies to the industry community via technology transfers.
In particular, KETI, established with joint contributions by the government and 74 companies related to the electronics industry, including Samsung and LG, is the nation’s sole public R&D entity hailing from the private sector.
KETI’s mission at the time of establishment was to localize materials and parts. The entity has now established itself as a pro-business R&D institution.
KETI has so far been at the forefront of corporate R&D, paving the way for exporting GSM phones, contributing to the development of core industries: laying foundations to secure an upper hand in the global HDTV market and raising the competitiveness of flexible parts and next-generation battery technologies.
Of late, we’re striving to grow into an R&D institute to lead the 4th Industrial Revolution by developing self-driving solutions such as WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environment) communications, LiDAR sensors and image recognition technologies and spurring the development of IoT, smart factory and AI technologies.
On July 28, 2020, KETI changed its Korean name to the current “한국전자기술연구원,” identical to Korea Electronics Technology Institute (KETI), the English name in use since its establishment in 1991.
With the new name, KETI is expected to expand its research capabilities as a leading technology platform provider, departing from the conventional “electronics parts” mold.
Q: Would you elaborate on the achievements and core values KETI has realized on the occasion of its 30th anniversary?
A: KETI, which celebrated its 30th anniversary on Aug. 27, has come up with three core values: “5 GX Enablers,” Scale-up Companion and “R&D as a Solution” to be reborn as a value creator facilitating innovative value to companies, people, society and the state.
The first value is related to 5 GX Enablers. KETI, half of whose R&D personnel have come from companies, has accumulated technology power covering materials, parts and equipment by utilizing a patent portfolio prioritizing commercialization and a strong global network.
We’ll devote ourself to focusing on the metaverse, AI life care, full self-driving, Industry 5.0 Initiative, and carbon neutrality in order to prime for five industries: media, bio health, mobility, manufacturing, energy and environment and developing enabling technologies.
The second value is about Scale-up Companion. KETI has built specialized platforms to support corporate tech support and offered solutions tailored to meet individual companies’ needs since its establishment. We’re readying our roles as corporate shared growth partners through 3Cs (Committee, Companionship and Channel).
The Electronics Tech Innovative Growth Committee has been inaugurated to oversee SMEs and mid-size enterprises’ investments, and it is striving to build greater corporate support regime and make itself as an R&D institute opening to everyone by improving researchers’ corporate access.
The third value is about R&D as a Solution. Amidst crises such as global trade conflicts, the race for tech hegemony, environment and disease issues, KETI is making efforts to contribute to national competitiveness by securing next-generation proprietary core technologies, such as batteries and semiconductors, and providing optimal solutions to solve a variety of social issues through problem-fixing R&D.
KETI will be reborn into regional innovative hubs by capitalizing on R&D capabilities it has accumulated for the past 30 years to ramp up innovative capabilities on top of regional cooperative networks, experiences on the operation of diverse national alliances, experiences related to the building of global test-beds.
In particular, we will support visions and strategies tailored to meet characteristics of each region, such as Gwangju-Jeonnam and Gyeongnam-Busan.
Q: Would you specify about the current status of your institute’s tech support for SMEs and mid-sized enterprises?
A: KETI has made strenuous efforts to offer corporate support since its establishment in accordance with one of the purposes of its establishment: ramping up the electronics industry’s global competitiveness through the spearheading of SMEs and mid-sized enterprises’ technology innovation and commercialization.
A department responsible for offering corporate support to SMEs has been operated since its establishment, with its status being elevated to a division-level one in 2002.
We’re carrying out whole life cycle corporate support activities by building corporate cooperative platforms while striving to provide solutions tailored to meet corporate needs in the case companies are hit by tech glitches.
KETI achieved a feat of obtaining 6,885 patents and registering another 3,876 patents on an accumulating basis as of 2020.
The institute has transferred 348 patents and licensed out of 1,044 patents to SMEs and mid-sized enterprises.
KETI has extensively supported tech self-sufficiency of companies related to the Korean materials, parts and equipment sector. We have offered 1,648 tech support services to 283 companies for the past one year, and KETI was honored with the MOTIE minister’s prize last May in recognition for supporting materials, parts and equipment firms in the most active fashion.
Q: Would you introduce major technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution KETI has been involved in?
A: KETI has been stepping on the gas to develop IoT, AI, VR/AR, smart manufacturing, intelligent robotics, big data, convergence technologies and other related areas that will lead the 4th Industrial Revolution in the future to support making the nation an advanced ICT country.
In a recent example, KETI is concentrating its research capabilities on the development of leading advanced future technologies in accordance with the Digital New Deal the government is implementing to brace for the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
In August 2020, KETI succeeded in developing the world’s best window-shaped high-efficiency transparent solar battery. A photovoltaic power module in which luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) is applied, is designed to fix insufficient space, a thorny issue of the conventional solar module.
In celebration of the International Day of Sign Language last September, KETI hosted a session to test-operate a guidance system on the facilities of Gimpo International Airport, outfitted with an AI-based sign language recognition technology.
It is the world’s best-level AI-based sign language translation technology that can be operated by general cameras like webcams, surpassing the conventional technology requiring markers attached to each joint or specialized gloves with sensors.
Last December, we developed an augmented reality “head up display” technology designed to enhance the reality of the vehicle HUD technology using a hologram technology.
It is the augmented reality HUD technology using the holographic optical element attached to the front windshield of the car, designed to reduce visual distortions of driving and realize motorist-oriented HUD services.
Meanwhile, KETI had developed new technologies in the manufacturing innovation sector, symbolizing the Industry 4.0, and produced prominent outcomes.
We’re leading the global smart manufacturing ecosystem through the Ansan Smart Manufacturing Innovation Center (SMIC) in which advanced technologies such as digital twin, industrial IoT and cooperative robots are test-operated and evaluated.
Following the SMIC, designated as the world’s best test-bed by the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), the world’s biggest IoT organization, KETI opened a demo plant for smart manufacturing and process innovation in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do, in July.
It is designed to build production facilities based on digital twin specialized in machinery and defense and aviation and support the evaluation and certification concerning life expectations of parts and equipment and fault rates.
Besides, the open source IoT platform “Mobius,” recognized by the world’s best interoperability by the global IoT industry, was designated as a “Golden Sample,” a standard among oneM2M standardization testing and certification institutions in May 2018.
Minister Moon Seung-wook of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Kim Young-sam of Korean Electronics Technology Institute (KETI), and Chairman Park Kun-soo of KETI’s Board, participate in an ceremony to market the 30th anniversary, which was held online on Aug. 26.
Q: Would you expound your management tenets and wishes?
A: KETI’s growth for the past 30 years is owned to concern and support by the Korean government and officials from electronics and IT industry, academia and research circles.
I set the goal of becoming an innovation leader after I took office. To this end, I’ve endeavored to create the business environment as an innovative technology maker, not a follower chasing state-of-the-art technologies of advanced countries.
KETI will strengthen its creative and convergence R&D capabilities based on industry needs in accordance with the visions: 5 GX Enablers, Scale-up Companion and R&D as a Solution. I hope that KETI will become a leading future R&D institute contributing to society and leading national prosperity through the development of strategic technologies.
I promise that our institute will be reborn as an R&D entity that can come along with companies in the industry field beyond the research lab, as both a strong partner of SMEs and mid-sized enterprises and enterprises, and a first mover of the 4th Industrial revolution era.