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South Korean government announces its US$37 Million investment in 3D Printing Industry for 2017

South Korea’s Ministry of Science is investing 41.2 Billion won (USD $37 Million) towards 3D Printing Industry this year

Ministry of Science ICT and Future Planning

South Korean government revealed last Sunday that it will spend the equivalent of $37 million dollars in 3D Printing development. The funds will come from South Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP), aiming to primarily assist the military and medical sectors, but also support the growing additive manufacturing industry in South Korea.

While on the subject, the government earlier unveiled a list of emerging sectors to focus on, such as artificial intelligence, hyper-plastics and robotics; these technologies are ready to increase its economy by heading in the “fourth industrial revolution”.

Kang Seong-joo, an official from the ICT ministry, said about the announcement. “It is important for ministries to cooperate to actively deal with the fast-changing global trend.”

Early 3D printing advancements in South Korea

South Korea is no stranger to 3D printing technology. For instance, in May of last year, the government started exploring fast-track approvals for 3D printed medical devices; it has also unveiled applications in 3D Printed Fashion,  bioprinting and education fields.

Moreover, to help support its own business, South Korea announced last year it would be offering significant tax exemptions to companies undertaking 3D printing R&D. And $2.3 Million more would be invested by the government in 3D printing equipment and facilities for employees the same year.

Still, a report published by the Hyundai Research Institute last summer revealed the opposite. The country’s Industry 4.0-related companies only rose 1.8% from 2011 to 2015, and profitability also dropped.

3D printing South Korea
Image: Yonhap News Agency.

Now South Korea wants to turn things around. Its 2017 budget will be spent on various 3D printing business to speed up demand and strengthen national competitiveness.

I consider this investment plan is pretty logical. There’s a projection saying that the global 3D printing market will reach $30.2 billion by the year 2022. While the annual growth rate between 2016 and 2022 will be 28.5%. Same way, the experts at Wohlers Associates, Inc. announced the publication of the industry-leading Wohlers Report 2017 yesterday. It showed an overall softened growth of 3D printing technology around the world, but with some exciting new business activity on the horizon.

With this new $37 million funding, it seems like we’ll see more innovations and breakthroughs coming out of South Korea’s 3D printing industry. For now, the ministry plans to help the country’s medical sector by manufacturing rehabilitation devices and artificial bones; This is in order to have the innovative devices available to patients as quickly as possible. Furthermore, it will help the military and industries to produce components through 3D printing.

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