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The Korea Herald
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THE INVESTOR
July 18, 2024

Samsung

Samsung beefs up R&D staff

  • PUBLISHED :June 18, 2018 - 16:02
  • UPDATED :June 18, 2018 - 16:07
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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics added around 3,000 researchers to its research and development workforce in 2017 as part of its efforts to attract competent engineers in emerging segments, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, according to the tech giant's Sustainability Report published recently.

After the number of R&D researchers reached 70,398 in 2014, the highest of all time, it dropped to 62,546 in line with the firm’s initiatives to shut down and restructure underperforming business departments. 




The figure came in at 65,494 last year, accounting for 20.4 percent of the entire executives and employees.

“Global IT companies are now all-in to take the lead in emerging technology sectors by luring global talent,” a source from Samsung said.

The source also added Samsung’s entire 16.8-trillion-won (US$15.20 billion) investment in R&D last year was spent on projects to obtain technologies linked to mobile chips, AI and Internet of Things.

Amazon and Alphabet, the holding company of Google, spent some 24.4 trillion won and 17.9 trillion won, respectively, last year.

Samsung has recently announced that it would reinforce its AI capacity by hiring 1,000 experts by 2020 and increase the number of research laboratories around the world.

“Securing seasoned researchers has become a crucial mission for Samsung,” said Kim Hyun-suk, CEO of Samsung’s home appliance division who also heads the firm’s R&D unit Samsung Research, at a media conference in May.

As global tech companies as well as non-tech firms are competitively jumping into emerging segments of AI and connected technologies, it has become extremely difficult to find skilled researchers.

Not to be outdone, Samsung is actively seeking experts in those fields. It hired renowned AI researchers Sebastian Seung and Daniel Lee, who served as professors at Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania, respectively.

“Hiring experienced experts is something that only global companies, like Samsung, can do as it costs a lot of money,” said an official from a local telecom company, which used to temporally collaborate with Seung for an AI project.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)

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