from the World-Watch dept.
According to an article in the Korea Herald ("Korea earmarks W200 bil. for nanotech", by Yang Sung-jin, 13 March 2002) South Korea will invest 203.1 billion won (about $US 153 million) in nanotechnology this year and seek a revision of related laws to accelerate NT projects, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) said on 12 March 2002. The ministry said it will expand research, facilities and manpower in the nanotech sector during 2002. Accordingly, the 2002 investment figure of 203.1 billion won is up 93% from 105.2 billion won (about $US 79 million) last year.
"Nanotechnology is still a fledgling technology and there's a great shortage of seasoned engineers. Therefore, one of the major focuses of the NT initiative is to secure as many high-quality nanotechnology engineers as possible," the ministry said.
Last year, the science ministry drew up a ten-year master plan to nurture [nanotechnology] in an initial step to catch up with the global trend. The long-term plan breaks down into three stages until 2010, with the government pouring 1.37 trillion won (about $US 1.03 billion) in state and private investments into the project in a bid to pave the way for the introduction of a nanotech infrastructure within five years. According to the report, the plan calls for the production of "at least 10 cutting-edge NT products and produce 13,000 NT experts by 2010 in a bid to compete with other advanced countries."
For more information on South Korean nanotech initiatives, see the Nanodot post from 16 January 2002.