Realtime Valley

Introducing South Korea! Explore how the dots connect between Switzerland and the leader of innovation.

South Korea is one of the leading global research nations in the areas of IT, communication, transport and civil engineering. The country has been leading the Bloomberg Innovative Index as the world’s most innovative nation for years  – up to 2019 even in first position six years in a row.

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South Korea is the home of economic giants such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai. The country is known for exporting machinery, automotive, semiconductors and petroleum products worldwide. Collaboration is warmly welcomed by the population and the country’s thriving corporates are well-aware that innovation is a key ingredient to increase value and product differentiation on a global scale.

Under the flagship of the 4th industrial revolution, the government implemented the use of smart technologies all over in the country. The city was nominated seven times in a row as the world’s best e-government for its smart administrative services which meets its citizens’ demands. For instance, mVoting is a concrete reality and Artificial Intelligence technology (AI) is deeply engaged in analyzing the big data collected for public affairs. The smart welfare provides intelligent services, which include but are not limited to public WiFi, surveillance cameras for security and monitoring systems for the elderly. Come to South Korea and see what we believe the future looks like!

East Asian hub for foreign startups

South Korea is now recognized for having the highest government backing per capita for start-ups, according to Forbes. The South Korean government runs a business-friendly visa programme called OASIS, for Overall Assistance for Startup Immigration System, to attract foreign entrepreneurs. Seoul is a vibrant ecosystem for startups to prosper: startup events, accelerators, angel investors, co-working spaces, venture capitalism and incubator programs. There has been a tremendous surge of funds for the development of this ecosystem, which is attractive for foreign startups to start the exploration of Korea. Among other programs, the K-startup challenge is hosted every year.

Connecting the dots between Switzerland and South Korea

The Science and Technology Office (STO) is part of the swissnex network and it is located at the Embassy of Switzerland in Seoul. It is responsible for facilitating bilateral relations between the Swiss and Korean governments in research and higher education. This dynamic team connects scientists, young entrepreneurs and big firms promoting open innovation between the two countries. Opportunities are created through events, joint activities – live and in remote and scouting. Check-out STO website and follow the activities on LinkedIn.

Read more in our nextrends Asia article: Future is now in Seoul, South Korean

In our next series “Realtime Valley” we will portrait how South Korea introduced 5G technology at their hospitals. We look forward to talking more tech “Seoul-style”. 

About the author

Science and Technology Office Seoul

the knowledge hub linking Swiss and Korean universities, research institutes, companies and start-ups.

Swiss excellence in science, technology and education and Switzerland’s young creative entrepreneurs in Korea.

the creation of networks, partnership and collaboration efforts between Swiss and Korean scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and students.
the Swiss universities, research institutes, companies and start-ups in building-up R&D and educational partnerships with Korean institutions.

the establishment and implementation of agreements between Swiss and Korean government ministries and agencies in science, technology and education.
the Swiss government, Swiss research and educational institutions, as well as Swiss companies and start-ups in finding information and contacts in Korea.
Swiss institutions to gain inside-knowledge on Korea’s science, technology and education.
Korean institutions to find the best connections and opportunities for successful R&D and educational partnerships in Switzerland.