This study evaluates plans to strengthen the technological development of the new material industry, which is growing in line with the steady increase in domestic demand, import substitution through domestic development, export expansion, differentiated R&D strategies, and measures to expand the market base.
“New materials” refer to materials which providing new functions and enable new usage by applying new manufacturing processes and technology to existing or synthetic materials. They are categorized into: new metals, fine ceramics, polymers, and composite materials. New materials that are used in the industries including the automobile industry, space aviation, and telecommunications are making significant contributions to production and national competitiveness.
The new material industry in Korea has a foundation for growth based on the accumulated R&D and expert human resources. However, since the industry is new, most domestic production consists of widely-used products, and many of the core new materials and products are being imported. As demand is increasing in line with the development of domestic industrial structure, the development of the new material industry is expected to serve as import substitution and a foundation to enhance competitiveness.
The knowledge competitiveness of the domestic new material industry is 50 to 60 percent of that of technologically advanced nations. The level of technology reaches 40 to 80 percent of that of the United States and Japan, a 5 to 10 year gap. However, the technological development and the increase in demand will be showing the results.
With the competition increasing in global new material markets, a small number of companies with technological prowess are dominating markets and closely cooperating. Technologically advanced countries are transferring the production of widely-used material products to developing countries, while focusing on the production of high-value new materials and avoiding technology transfers. For this reason, the importance of novel research in this sector is stressed. Technologically advanced countries are setting comprehensive objectives to enhance global competitiveness through the new material industry, implementing and reviewing their objectives step by step, and promoting cooperation between industries, universities, and the government.
In order to strengthen knowledge competitiveness of the new material industry in Korea, it is necessary to:
1. Have the private sector lead the new material market which has low risk in terms of technology development with a large market while having the government lead R&D on the new materials, which has high risk but great ripple effect with limited market size
2. Record industrial trends, technology and overseas market information, so as to build a “new material center” and industrial database
3. Closely cooperate with advanced businesses through strategic partnership to expand export
4. Make investments in human resources and capital through cooperation between industry and academia, and provide incentives for excellent researchers
5. Substitute import, create new demand, diversify applied products to overcome limitations in demand, advance into the global market, implement active marketing strategies, and strengthen PR in markets overseas for economy of scale
Also, it is necessary to establish an organization responsible for collecting and exchanging information on new material products and technology at home and abroad, to promote information exchange and eliminate inefficiency between producers and consumers.
신소재산업의 지식경쟁력 강화 방안(Plans to strengthen knowledge competitiveness of the new material industry)
|Series Title; No||KIET 산업경제|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < Manufacturing|