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2024 R&D Budget to Focus on CETs to Aim for Global Technological Dominance


- An increase of KRW 340.7 billion from last year with a focus on securing next-generation growth drivers and super gap technologies

The Ministry of Science and ICT (“MSIT”; Minister Lee Jong-Ho) announced that the budget for Critical and Emerging Technologies (CETs) was confirmed to be worth a total of KRW 5 trillion——a KRW 300 billion increase from last year’s KRW 4.7 trillion—in the 2024 budget plan approved by the National Assembly on December 20, 2023.

The 2024 budget for major national R&D projects ("Major R&D") is in line with the Yoon administration’s philosophy, which is aimed at intensive investment in innovative R&D and strengthening the nurturing of future leaders, while drastically eliminating the inefficiencies accumulated in R&D such as corporate subsidies and restructuring of underperforming projects.

In particular, the 2024 major R&D budget will be heavily invested in CETs to secure next-generation growth drivers and “super gap” technologies in major industries, with the aim of establishing Korea's technological independence and sovereignty. Since the designation of the 12 CETs in the Critical and Emerging Technology Promotion Plan" announced in 2022, the government has been steadily expanding its investments in them.

* Announced at the Presidential Advisory Council on Science and Technology (PACST) on October 28, 2022

However, even if a technology falls under the CETs, the government reviewed the budget demand and made efforts to make the budget execution more efficient instead of just conventionally allocating the budget, if there was a recent surge in the budget due to short-term issues such as the supply issue regarding materials, parts and equipment, or the spread of infectious diseases, or if the budget execution has been sluggish.

The following are the main directions and flagship projects of seven key areas among the CETs.

① (Semiconductor: KRW 563.5 billion in 2023 → KRW 636.2 billion in 2024) Korea will expand support to increase international cooperation and boost the semiconductor industry ecosystem by creating global semiconductor networks and exchanging talent with major countries, and promote the development of super gap semiconductor technologies such as cutting-edge packaging and AI chip development to maintain the country’s semiconductor competitiveness.

* Development of Semiconductor Advanced Packaging Core Technology (MSIT): KRW 6.4 billion (2024, new)
Development of AI Semiconductor Advanced Integration Technology (MSIT): KRW 8.3 billion (2024, new)

② (Artificial intelligence: KRW 705.1 billion in 2023 → KRW 777.2 billion in 2024) Korea will expand investment in next-generation core technologies to overcome existing limitations, and support tackling challenges and securing original technologies to strengthen industrial competitiveness.

* Development of next-generation AI technology (MIST): KRW 4 billion (2024, new)
Development of (MSIT): KRW 3 billion (2024, new)

③ (Advanced Biology: KRW 828.8 billion in 2023 → KRW 977.2 billion in 2024) Korea will strengthen investment in securing promising technologies, such as synthetic biology and cell and gene therapy, which can be future growth drivers of the bio sector, and support innovative and mission-oriented R&D, such as essential health services/, drug development, and regenerative medicine, which are closely related to people's lives and safety.

* Development of core technology in synthetic biology (MSIT): KRW 7.3 billion (2024, new)
National Drug Development Project (inter-ministerial): KRW 135.5 billion (2024, new)
Korean ARPA-H Project (Ministry of Health and Welfare): KRW 49.5 billion (newly added in 2024)

④ (Cybersecurity: KRW 165.3 billion in 2023 → KRW 190.4 billion in 2024) Korea will strengthen domestic cybersecurity capabilities and establish a foundation for domestic and international cooperation, such as fostering human resources and developing original technologies to address increasingly sophisticated and globalized cyber incidents.

* Development of Core Original Technology for Data Protection (MSIT): KRW 107.6 billion (2024)

⑤ (Quantum: KRW 108 billion in 2023 → KRW 125.2 billion in 2024) To secure quantum technology, a future industrial and security game changer, Korea will invest boldly in ambitious research, and focus on fostering talent and establishing a foundation for domestic and international cooperation.

* Establishment of foundation for advancement of quantum fabless manufacturing technology (MSIT): KRW 6 billion (2024, new)
Strengthening international cooperation in quantum technology (MSIT): KRW 7.8 billion (2024)

⑥ (Secondary Cell: KRW 111.4 billion in 2023 → KRW 136.4 billion in 2024) From recycling waste batteries to manufacturing and reusing batteries, Korea will secure technologies for fostering a secondary cell circular economy to stabilize the country’s own supply chains and prepare for mineral weaponization, and increase matching funds in essential secondary cell materials, which are being diversified according to price competitiveness.

* Development of innovative source technology for four types of breakthrough next-generation secondary cells (MSIT): KRW 3.5 billion (2024 New)
Development of technology for increasing secondary cell reuse/recycling (Ministry of Environment): (New in 2024): KRW 4.7 billion

⑦ (Space: KRW 750.8 billion in 2023 → KRW 836.2 billion in 2024) Korea will support the strengthening of space security and the creation of a self-sustaining space industry ecosystem through advanced and independent strategic space technologies such as various space transport systems and advanced navigation, observation, and communication satellites.

* Development of Korean Positioning System (KPS) (inter-ministerial): KRW 7217.9 billion (2024)
Development of next-generation launch vehicles (MIST): KRW 7110.1 billion (2024)

"Investment in CETs is not an option, but a must, to create growth drivers through world-class research," said Joo Young-Chang, Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation at the Ministry of Science and ICT. "Although the current financial conditions are not very favorable due to internal and external uncertainties, we will continue our efforts to expand investment in CETs to address the global competition for technological dominance and using S&T policies as security assets."

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division (Phone: +82-44-202-4034, E-mail: of the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Please refer to the attached PDF.

KOGL Korea Open Government License, BY Type 1 : Source Indication The works of the Ministry of Science and ICT can be used under the terms of "KOGL Type 1".