South Korea is a leading nation when it comes to progressing towards the fourth industrial revolution. The country is committed to promoting the IT industry and the number of startups involved in technological innovation. National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) is an agency set up by the Korean government that is dedicated to supporting innovation, expansion, and create a viable environment for businesses in the ICT Industry.
What is NIPA?
NIPA was established in 2009 with a vision to lay the groundwork for the IT industrial technology promotion. NIPA works under the aegis of the Ministry of Science and ICT. The agency was initially formed as KIPA (Korea IT Industry Promotion Agency) in 1998 but eventually transformed into a much more independent version of NIPA.
NIPA’s primary focus is promoting new technologies, such as Io T, Cloud Computing, and Big Data. NIPA’s role is to explore and identify new opportunities in such areas as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, precision Medicine, Smart Cities, and Self-Driving Vehicles, etc. The agency is responsible for building a vibrant ecosystem for innovative startups and SMEs to compete and thrive in the global market.
The primary mission of NIPA is to be a lead agency for innovative growth for the nation and the economy through the development of ICT and new software for which it has to:
1) Aid in policy research and development for support to the ICT industry.
2) Help establish the foundation of the ICT industry and cultivate
its human resources.
3) Vitalize the distribution market for the development of the ICT industry and support marketing.
4) Promoting businesses related to the convergence and utilization
of ICT technology.
5) Support international exchange, cooperation, and overseas expansion related to the ICT industry.
To promote the ICT industry and bring in economic growth, NIPA has taken a number of domestic and international initiatives. NIPA promotes new opportunities in the software industry through activities like creating foundations for 3D printing, ICT technology, and support Blockchain platforms.
NIPA also fosters the AI industry by building a foundation for intelligent cloud services. NIPA has been promoting for developing new content for 5G services and supporting innovative content production. NIPA also pays a significant role in supporting ICT startups by improving the regulatory environment at the domestic level and promoting global expansion.
NIPA’s role in the startup ecosystem
NIPA’s mission is to promote IT innovation in South Korea, and for this, it is an important organization for the startups of the country. NIPA helps Korean startups through policy research and recommendations and creating a better regulatory environment.
While at the local level, NIPA is always on the lookout for new tech-innovations in fields like AI, IoT, Big Data, Blockchain, etc., it is also responsible for promoting the ICT industry at the international level. NIPA supports ICT startup companies by:
a) Fostering Korean startups to become global players by providing advanced infrastructure support, nurturing growth, and provide acceleration and mentoring advice. The agency recently announced the ‘Blockchain Technology Verification (PoC) Support Project’ for blockchain firms. It has committed to $3.1 million in funding to blockchain startups.
b) Create an atmosphere to bring in promising startups from overseas and provide exceptional support for them to establish in Asia. Build a diverse, multi-cultural ICT creative environment by recruiting multi-cultural ICTC professionals. NIPA also promotes and participates in many global-level events like the K-Startup Grand Challenge.
c) NIPA supports the ICT and software SMEs seeking to enter global markets through one-stop services for finding and connecting local partners, marketing, and providing office space with each branch acting as a reliable resource in its respective market. NIPA has offices in the USA, Vietnam, Singapore, and India.
NIPA is playing a crucial role in the promotion and support of the IT industry to usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era and create a friendlier business climate for startups.