Korean Smart City Opportunities for Foreign and Domestic Companies Doing Business in Korea

The Korean government’s “2020 Smart Challenge” is officially rolling out with the Act on the Promotion of Smart City Development and Industry of Korea. The Act is coming into effect on Feb. 27, 2020.

The Korean government is, specifically, launching three separate projects called:

  • Korean City Challenge
    • Open to large, SMEs and startup companies.
    • Intended to encourage creative and technological solutions to problems in cities.
    • Smart-mobility may be a large focus of the governments initiative.
  • Korean Town Challenge
    • Open to large, SMEs and startup companies.
    • Intended to encourage businesses to create localized solutions to issues facing towns.
  • Korean Solution Challenge
    • Open to large, SMEs and startup companies.
    • Intended to encourage the creation of smart solutions to issues facing towns and cities. such as smart crosswalks, smart playgrounds and other one-off solutions to issues.
A screenshot of a cell phone  Description automatically generated
Infographic by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport

This 2020 Smart Challenge initiative shall be under a regulatory sandbox (an enclosed environment, supported by a regulators, where firms can more freely experiment and explore products and solutions).

The Act on the Promotion of Smart City Development and Industry mandates, among other things that:

  • The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport must, when designating a national pilot city, establish goals and performance indicators of the national pilot city construction project. Evaluation and results of the set goals and performance indicators shall be disclosed to the public.
  • The Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport shall designate a Smart Regulatory Innovation District that carries out smart innovation projects or smart test-bed projects through regulatory exemptions in order to solve urban problems and foster innovative industries. Procedures on the designation, amendment of designation, and removal of the Smart Regulatory Innovation District shall be created by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and shall be published.
  • The Smart Regulatory Innovation Districts themselves shall establish approval procedures, approval criteria, and amendment procedures for implementing smart innovation projects.
  • Smart Regulatory Innovation District shall establish approval procedures for smart test-bed projects from businesses implementing the smart test-bed projects to test and verify smart innovative technologies.

Opportunities are available, in regard to these initiates, for foreign an domestic companies. We shall publish more on this blog, when specific policies are implemented.

If you are interested in more information on smart city projects in Korea, we suggest setting up a call with IPG.  

By Jimin Ryu

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