Better Touch Better Business
South Korea releases ambitious 3D printing industry development plan
A few days ago, the South Korean government announced the establishment of the 3D Printing Industry Development Committee, which is composed of officials from more than a dozen departments in South Korea. Also, on June 18, 2014, the South Korean government approved a master plan aimed at giving South Korea a leading position in the field of 3D printing. The goals of the plan include cultivating 10 million Makers by 2020 and establishing a nationwide 3D printing infrastructure. In addition, Tiangong has also reported that in April this year, the South Korean government invested 2.4 billion won to establish a 3D printing center to provide 3D printing facilities and employee training for small and medium-sized enterprises. At present, the global 3D printing market share of South Korea is only 2.3%, ranking seventh, after France. The South Korean government hopes to increase investment to catch up. So, how does South Korea plan to cultivate tens of millions of creative makers? In order to achieve this arduous goal, the Korea 3D Printing Industry Development Committee will formulate corresponding 3D printing training courses for people at all levels, from elementary school to adults. They will provide 3D printing educational resources across the country, including curriculum development, as well as corresponding digital infrastructure for the underprivileged. This ambitious plan also proposes to create a social environment where access to 3D printing technology is as convenient as going to a cafe, so that 3D printing can truly be integrated into people's lives. The plan is to place 3D printers in 50% of schools in Korea by 2017. In addition to focusing on education, the program also highlights the technology's potential for growth among entrepreneurs and business people. As a result, the government is coordinating software vendors, local agencies and private companies to set up workshops to introduce 3D printing technology to 1.5 million business people. The plan states that government departments will also take corresponding measures to support the development of South Korea's 3D printing industry. The Korean government will bear part of the cost to establish a 'national 3D printing comprehensive portal' to provide various information support services. It will also create a Universal Content Identifier (UCI) system for 3D printing data, which acts a bit like an index code that identifies and differentiates publications in a library, hopefully enabling the free movement of information among users while properly safeguarding intellectual property rights.