[THE INVESTOR] The South Korean government plans to launch an innovation academy and a series of education programs next year to nurture at least 10,000 IT professionals and boost industries central to the “fourth industrial revolution.”
Inside Ecole 42
The Ministry and Science and ICT said on Dec.26 that it will found a two-year innovation academy, modeled after the French programming school Ecole 42, to educate about 2,500 software experts over the course of five years.
The government also plans to set aside 180.6 billion won ($160.6 million) to establish a specialized academy to nurture highly trained engineers in fields like artificial intelligence and big data analytics.
In addition, the ICT Ministry will initiate an overseas research support program to enable Korean professionals with advanced degrees to conduct joint research and receive training in their respective fields at prestigious institutions abroad.
The target areas of focus are information and communications technology, future vehicles, drones, energy, precision medicine and the development of new drugs.
The government has set aside some 209 billion won for this initiative over the next five years, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
To procure more experts in artificial intelligence, the government will also support the creation of specialized university programs dedicated to AI technology research and training. It has set aside some 46 billion won for this endeavor.
Three universities will be selected to receive funding to operate specialized graduate programs focusing on AI, according to the ICT Ministry.
Each of these universities will receive 9 billion won over the course of five years, with the possibility of that funding being renewed for another five years, it added.
Meanwhile, another 140 billion won will be allocated to provide recent university graduates with opportunities to undergo on-site training and participate in projects involving AI, cloud technology, big data, augmented reality and virtual reality, the ministry said.
The goal is to nurture around 7,000 highly trained professionals who can immediately start working when they step into their respective industries.
Korea’s technology training initiatives come as the country seeks to address the critical shortage of well-trained experts in fields such as artificial intelligence, software development and others critical to the fourth industrial revolution.
Making Korea a leader in the fourth industrial revolution is one of the incumbent Moon Jae-in administration’s major campaign pledges.
There is also a presidential committee responsible for coordinating national strategies to boost the country’s competitiveness in the fourth industrial revolution.
Citing the economic impact of “smart intelligence” driven chiefly by AI and big data analytics, the committee has called on the government to assist Korea’s major industries in adapting via public-private partnerships and regulatory support.
The fourth industrial revolution is a term coined in 2016 by World Economic Forum Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab at the Davos summit, referring to a new, connected digital economy buttressed by technological breakthroughs in fields such as AI, the internet of things, autonomous vehicles, robotics, big data computing and nanotechnology.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)