July 16, 2014

The South Korean government announced Wednesday that it is drawing up a 10-year plan to promote the country's 3D printing industry.

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning will work together to collect feedback from industry insiders and the public. The detailed plans are scheduled to release by October.

"The 3D printing industry is a new growth engine to bring about innovation in the manufacturing realm," said Lee Kwan-seok, an official from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, "It is anticipated to take a key role in the country's creative economy drive by converging with the ICT sector."

The South Korean government has been seeking new opportunity to create more jobs by merging information technology and other industries.

"Currently, the 3D industry is led by a few global companies which hold core technologies," the ICT ministry said in its release, reported Yonhap News Agency.

"Although a few South Korean firms hold their own technologies, their competitive edge in the sector is still blunt compared with global leading companies."

The ministry also added that such a roadmap was needed as currently research related to 3D printing is conducted only among local universities and institutions.

Earlier in June, the ministries said they plan to train 10 million South Koreans including students and future entrepreneurs on 3D printing by 2020, and will provide 3D printers at 227 libraries and 5,885 schools by 2017. Also to encourage more companies and individuals to make practical use of 3D printing, the ministries will set up manufacturing support centers in six areas including the Seoul metropolitan area, Chungcheong provinces, Gangwon province, Gyeongsang provinces and Jeolla provinces.

The global 3D printer market is currently dominated by US firms. According to Wohlers Associates, Korea's 3D printing industry generated revenues worth around $29 million in 2012, which is only about 2.3 percent of the global market. It is expected the projects would fuel its growth in the industry and Korean companies would generate about 15 percent of output for the whole 3D printing market by 2020.


Posted in 3D Printing Technology

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