April 13, 2022
SEOUL – South Korea and Israel have pledged to invest up to $5.3 million (6.6 billion won) to support the joint development of robotics technology under a new strategic collaboration project named the Lighthouse Program, officials said Tuesday.
As a joint research and development project between Seoul and Jerusalem, the Lighthouse Program is a follow-up of the revisions made to the industrial technology agreement between the two countries last year. Both sides agreed to double the annual funding for their joint projects in technological development to $4 million and increase the proportion of governmental support.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said this year’s focus will be on robotics in the fields of logistics, agriculture, livestock, personal service and health care. The joint development projects for will be expanded to the areas of autonomous driving and hydrogen technologies, it added.
Unlike the previous program that supported one-on-one matching between companies from each country, the Lighthouse Program will require at least two participants from each country and they have to include a company and a university or research institute from both sides, according to the trade ministry.
If chosen by the Lighthouse Program, a project can receive up to $5.3 million support from the inter-governmental funding or up to 66 percent of the total project cost over the next two to four years.
Seoul officials and Israel Innovation Authority held a launching conference in Tel Aviv to signal the Lighthouse Program between the two countries, the ministry said, and researchers and robotics industry workers from both countries also attended the event.
“The lighthouse program, like the purpose of the program, will be an opportunity to light up the new industrial technology routes for both countries and accelerate innovation,” said a ministry official.
“In the future, both countries’ governments will continue to support private R&D innovation as much as possible.”