The S. Korean government last year unveiled the “Strategy for Software Innovation” ambitiously after designating software as one of the effective tools for the realization of the government’s creative economy initiative. However, the Strategy for Software Innovation has yet to have a ripple effect across the software industry. The Strategy for Software Innovation, drawn up by desk-bound bureaucrats, not by software experts, mainly featured stop-gap measures rather than solutions to problems faced by the software industry.
Cho Sung-kap, President of Incheon Information Service (INIS) and newly-elected Chairman of the Federation of Korean Information Technology Societies, puts forward a variety of practical solutions for the promotion of the Korean software and IT industry, leveraging his multi-year experiences in supporting the domestic IT industry in the field, not from the desk.
KRW one trillion in investment from China kicks the development of Incheon Robot Land into high gear.
One of INIS President Cho Sung-kap’s notable achievements, made at INIS, is the promotion of robots, a cultural industry in the city of Incheon. An investment of KRW one trillion from China will be poured into Incheon Robot Land in mid July, therefore speeding up the development of Incheon Robot Land’s commercial facilities. Incheon Robot Land is a project that builds a robot research center, a robot industry support center, robot amusement facilities, complex commercial facilities, hotels and etc in Cheong-na International City in Incheon. Once Incheon Robot Land is opened in 2016, it is projected to entail approximately KRW 2.7 trillion in annual production value and creation of about 4,000 jobs.
Educational projects designed for students are also noteworthy. Nearly 300 Korean and foreign students will be invited to Global Robot Camp, scheduled to take place somewhere between the end of July and early August at Songdo Global Campus. Global Robot Camp will furnish various robot-related programs, such as robot classes and robot games, to allow participating students to have a fun. In addition, robot animated musical “Legend of the Robot Land,” which was recently presented at Gwacheon National Science Museum, received great reviews for serving as an educational playground that rekindled children’s educational interest in robots, science and technology.
INIS’s robot promotion projects move beyond simply launching cultural promotions. INIS has mounted a robot pilot project for regional economic zones to manufacture practical robots, such as river cleaning robots, yeast robots and robotic dolls, etc. The robot pilot project for regional economic zones is expected to revitalize regional economies, enhance the value of local brands and expedite regional development.
President Cho is keen on early software education, the building of an IT assembly hall and the development of software and hardware.
INIS President Cho’s next move merits more attention as he was elected as Chairman of the Federation of Korean Information Technology Societies this year. Chairman Cho has set his sights on the provision of early software education, the building of an IT assembly hall and support for the development of software and hardware.
“The software industry is not so much manufacturing as a culture-based art since designing and developing software is all about creations,” President Cho underlined the need for early software education. He believed that early software education would help children develop their logical thinking, comprehension, reasoning power and imagination. Children who receive software education early are more likely to grow into IT talent in the future, hence turning the IT industry into a culture, not solely an industry driven by functions and technologies, according to Cho.
The S. Korean IT market has continued to grow annually, hitting KRW 20.17 trillion this year. That being said, IT powerhouse S. Korea does not offer an optimum gathering place, where smooth communication and personal and physical exchanges between industry and academia can take place. Against this backdrop, President Cho intends to build an IT assembly hall. Once an IT assembly hall is put up, IT companies can gather to share information, nurture talent and conduct researches and IT information can be disseminated through various seminars, thesis presentations and forums. Furthermore, comprehensive IT education programs can be run to produce highly-demanded IT experts, who can lead the domestic IT industry into the future.
Though it is welcome news that numerous officials from Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, etc. have paid a visit to S. Korea to learn about Korea’s advanced e-government system, exports of the nation’s e-government system are not happening. “S. Korea is an IT powerhouse in the world but its software industry is in poor condition. Exports of Korean e-government systems are not materializing because about 87% of the nation’s e-government systems run on foreign-made software,” said President Cho. Since the performance of software cannot be measured in numerical terms, a proven track record of software sales is important. Yet, since Korean software developers are track record-poor latecomers in the market, the practice of using foreign-made software has persisted.
Thus, Cho Sung-kap, as newly-elected Chairman of the Federation of Korean Information Technology Societies, is set to take the lead in offering technical support and proposing relevant policies for the development of homegrown software and hardware. All of his efforts will eventually play an important role in setting up a software-friendly ecosystem in the nation.