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S. Korea's Ministry of SMEs and Startups shifts focus to privately-led innovation with government support in 2023

Photo by rawkkim / Unsplash

The Ministry of SMEs and Startups in South Korea has announced plans to shift the focus of the “Public-Private Partnership Project to Support Open Innovation (OI)” to privately led innovation with government support in 2023.

The move aims to strengthen the role of the private sector in promoting the domestic open innovation ecosystem.

Under this initiative, the ministry will invite a private, professional organization capable of running the Open Innovation (OI) platform.

The Open Innovation (OI) Public-Public Collaboration Support Project was launched in 2020 to jointly foster partnerships between large companies to develop innovative technologies and new products.

In 2022, the project was expanded to include a “bottom-up” approach focused on startup discovery and collaborative support.

This year, the OI Market will be launched to create a new venue for private, consumer-facing “on-demand” exchanges where startups and in-demand companies can collaborate regularly.

The OI Market is a meta-OI platform where companies can effortlessly search and find innovation partners and serve as a matchmaking platform.

To operate such an OI Market, an OI Platform Operating Agency will be established to oversee the operation and management of the public-private partnership for open innovation.

Candidates for the OI platform include private companies that can build and support an OI ecosystem and have experience with strategic collaboration between large and small companies or accelerators that professionally incubate and invest in startups.

This move by the South Korean government reflects the growing trend of governments and the private sector working together to support innovation and startups.

It will be interesting to see how establishing the OI market and private, professional organizations will impact the country’s open innovation ecosystem.

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