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  • Seoul Supports R&D Investment for SMEs for Post-COVID-19 Era

  • Economy & Investment News SMG 199

    Due to the COVID-19 crisis, it is unlikely that the management conditions of SMEs will be improved in the second half of the year. While SMEs are lessening investments in R&D aimed towards preparing the future driving force and facing difficult management conditions to employ new workers, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will be helping enterprises cross the “valley of death.”
    The SMG and the Seoul Business Agency will invest additional an KRW 5.67 billion to R&D funds in the second half of the year in order for Seoul-based SMEs, ventures, and startups to adapt to the changes in industrial structure and the new economic order in the post-coronavirus era. In March 2020, the SMG announced the plan to invest KRW 41.5 billion in R&D. 180 projects will be selected out of the 1,110 projects that have been registered thus far.
    The funds will be concentrated in the areas of biomedicine and untact and disinfection technology based on AI, fintech, and blockchain, where demand is expected to increase after COVID-19. The SMG has plans to promptly make an announcement and distribute the funds so that the SMEs can continue receiving R&D investments in difficult management conditions.

    Seoul Supports R&D Investment for SMEs for Post-COVID-19 Era
    Title of Project Scale of Support
    (Unit: KRW million)
    Main Points
    Support Project for Biomedicine Technology Businesses 2,000 – Target: Seoul-based SMEs
    – Area: Disinfection devices (item), diagnostic medical devices, telemedicine services (device), etc.
    – Scale: Up to KRW 200 million per project, 10 projects
    Support Project for AI-based Untact and Disinfection Technology Businesses 2,270 – Target: Seoul-based SMEs, ventures, startups
    – Area: AI-based untact and disinfection technology to prepare for the post-coronavirus era
    – Scale: Up to KRW 300 million per project, 8 projects
    Support Project for Fintech Technology Businesses 800 – Target: Seoul-based fintech companies
    – Area: Fintech technologies, such as easy payment, security, and cloud computing, for which demand will increase after COVID-19
    – Scale: Up to KRW 100 million per project, 8 projects
    Support Project for Blockchain Technology Businesses 600 – Target: Seoul-based SMEs, ventures, startups
    – Area: Technologies that require the commercialization of blockchain, such as untact, authentication, and security, that prepare for the post-coronavirus age
    – Scale: KRW 60 million per project, 10 projects

    1. Up to KRW 200 million in R&D costs for biomedicine technology commercialization projects for a year
    A total of KRW 2 billion will be invested in R&D for commercializing the core technologies of Seoul-based SMEs, such as disinfection devices (items) to tackle infectious diseases including COVID-19, diagnostic medical devices, and telemedicine services (device). Up to KRW 200 million will be invested per project.
    2. Up to KRW 300 million in R&D costs for AI-based untact and disinfection technology commercialization projects for a year
    A total of KRW 2.27 billion will be invested in commercializing technologies of companies that possess AI-based technologies in areas of untact (tailored education, chatbot, employment, etc.), disinfection (prevention, demonstration, prediction of diseases), and others (autonomous driving, security, and smart city). Up to KRW 300 million will be invested per project.
    More specifically, the “Support Project for AI-based Untact and Disinfection Technology Businesses” sets eased conditions for technological maturity than that of the existing AI Business Support Project (level 7 → level 6) to lower the barriers for entry for SMEs with the technology. The SMG has plans to actively discover and concentrate on support for companies with excellent technologies.
    3. Up to KRW 100 million in R&D costs for fintech technology commercialization projects for a year reflecting demand for untact finance
    Reflecting the high demand for untact finance due to COVID-19, an additional total of KRW 800 million will be invested in the commercialization of the fintech technologies of Seoul-based SMEs. Up to KRW 100 million will be invested per project, and eligible beneficiaries are fintech products or services that correspond to level 7 of technological maturity.
    4. Up to KRW 60 million in R&D costs for blockchain technology commercialization projects for a year
    For the first time this year, a total of KRW 600 million – up to KRW 60 million per project – will be invested in the commercialization of technologies using blockchain, the untact authentication and security service technology.
    For details about the support project that invests additional KRW 5.67 billion in four fields, please visit the website of the SBA Seoul R&D Investment Center (seoul.rnbd.kr). The deadline for applications is different for each field (Sept. 23 (Mon.) – Oct. 8 (Thu.)) so please make sure to check the schedule carefully. For more information, please refer to the announcement on the website.