"Incheon has three competitive edges for its growth in the IT industry. The first is the geographical advantage in which traveling to 60 major cities of China, the world's biggest market, and the high-tech Japan within 30 minutes is all possible. The second is its logistics infrastructure fit for these times of international trade where logistics speed can mean competitiveness, equipped with world-class airports and seaports. The third would be the abundance of high-skilled manpower in the high-tech industries such as information technology and biotechnology. All in all, I'm confident that Incheon will be the IT Mecca of unlimited strength and potential compared to any other city in the world."
The first thing that Cho Sung-kap did, a man who took up his post as the President of the Incheon IT Promotion Agency (IITPA) just 3 weeks ago, was purchasing a van that venture businesses could use free of charge. So, basically, all of his policies are focused on practical support that businesses can apply in real life, as well as support customized by each business form.
The preliminary project of expanding the current 1,200 IT companies to 1,500 and developing superb technology and products has already begun, although the main thrust of the project will not be felt until after the 2014 Asian Games.
President Cho will go on to first sign an MOU with ETRI on the 28th to develop superb technology and products of Incheon's IT companies from the technical and commerce cooperation. Also he will establish a branch office of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information to prove their solutions by fully-using supercomputers. Secondly, he plans to expand the Business Academy and invite 300 new businesses, which is expected to create jobs and attract more foreign companies. Recently in the IITPA Support Center, developments of cultural content and holograms have been under active progress, and in the Intelligent Robot Research Center, life-style suited robots that can help the disabled and senior citizens who live alone are currently under development.
"Incheon is one of the fastest-growing cities. Especially when you look at the current active operations of promotion for new industries and convergence industries around the Incheon Free Economic Zone, it seems certain that Incheon will place itself as the representative city of Korea and successfully host the 2014 Asian Games, thus stepping up as a global city by presenting its infrastructure technology all over the world," he says regarding hopes for Incheon.
In the 20-story Incheon IT Promotion Agency Building reside 31 top IT companies and 14 CT companies. These companies are under the support from the IITPA for prototype production expenses, intellectual property applications, product promotions, operation funds financing, and recruitment. Not only resident companies, but those that are not are also provided with support. IITPA has put together an Incheon Venture Fund of 10.5 billion won from investment attraction sessions in order to support venture businesses, and is backing up the growth of businesses by selecting companies for the Incheon IT Technology Award.
IT Library to be Designed, Filled with 30,000 Books of IT Sector Policy, Technology and Trends
President Cho went on to elaborate on IITPA's upcoming major projects by saying, "IITPA is drawing up a variety of practical support measures as we are an exclusive agency for promoting IT companies. In order to stop the recently continuing youth unemployment and low employment rate, we are running the Jemulpo Smart Town to promote technology businesses and attempt employment stabilization. And also, we will push ahead with Robot Land - the world's first robot theme park, to develop the robot industry which is the new growth engine industry, and at the same time, support companies in cultural contents, contributing to the cultivation of cultural contents both in quantity and quality. Furthermore, we plan to design an IT library by bringing in around 30,000 books from Incheon of which are comprised of IT sector's policy, technology and trend, published back from the days of the Ministry of Information and Communication."
IIPTA is carrying forward various ubiquitous projects to create the High-tech City of the Future - Incheon through IT innovation. One representative project is the Home Aqua Grid, which is a project where by installing smart meters in homes and buildings, people are then able to check water leaks, freezing and bursting, and water use on a timely basis. IIPTA is also underway for establishment of smart work centers and systems. A smart work center refers to a working environment without any restrictions for time and place, and for the moment there are plans for center operations in small businesses, BI companies and sole proprietorships in Namgu in Incheon.
President Cho, a man of the Keep on 'til you Succeed principle, says that "There are still left tasks for growth in lots of sectors such as technology development, funding, obtaining orders of the central government projects, securing outstanding work forces, developing the export market and attracting investment." He went on to say, "We will always face trouble in the actual sites, and develop Incheon as Korea's ICT Mecca with efforts from our employees."