Israel and South Korea launch a new program for technological cooperation in the field of robotics

The Israel Innovation Authority launched a new program this week with South Korea that aims to encourage joint cooperation with industrial and academic entities in the field of robotics technologies.

Working through the Korea-Israel Industrial Research and Development Corporation (KORIL-RDF), the “Lighthouse Program” will provide funding of up to $5.3 million per joint robotics project over a period of two to four years, with a particular focus on four: Sectors: health, logistics, agriculture and livestock, and home services (eg assistance to people with disabilities). South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has indicated that some projects may also be expanded to include areas of autonomous driving and hydrogen technologies, according to the Korean Herald.

KORIL-RDF was established in 2001 as a binational institution established by the two governments with the aim of promoting and supporting technological cooperation between commercial companies and academic institutions in both countries. The organization runs a number of programs and helps connect business entities in South Korea and Israel, contact potential Korean and Israeli companies for joint research and development projects, and supports funding for research and development projects.

The beacon program was launched this week at an event at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa, attended by a delegation of about 40 Korean representatives from business, government and academics. Participants included representatives from Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, KAR (Korean Association of Robotics Industry), Korea Institute of Industrial Technology, Korea Institute of Advanced Technology, and Seoul National University, as well as representatives from major companies such as Korea Telecom (KT) and LG Electronics .

The delegation met with Israeli representatives from the South Korean automaker Hyundai, agricultural research organization Volcani Center, defense electronics company Elbit Systems, and the Elbit-led Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) consortium, which was set up late last year by Israel for innovation. Authority. They also worked with researchers from leading universities including Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Bar-Ilan University, and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

Dr. Amy Appelbaum, head of the Israel Innovation Authority, said at the event that in order to establish leadership in robotics, “international cooperation like this one with Korea, a country with many leading resources in research and technology, is needed to help achieve this.” Target “.

Amy Appelbaum, head of the Israel Innovation Authority, at the launch ceremony for the new robotics program with South Korea at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, on April 12, 2022 (Courtesy)

Israel’s relations with South Korea have improved in recent years, and Jerusalem concluded a free trade agreement with Seoul last year. Bilateral trade volume between the two countries amounted to about $2.4 billion in 2020, most of these goods and services are imported to Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Economy.

Israel also signed agreements to increase cooperation in the fields of energy and education with South Korea in 2019. A year ago, Seoul purchased advanced radar systems from Israel aimed at improving its ability to detect incoming missiles, such as those that could be launched by North Korea.

Israel and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1962 and Israel opened an embassy in the country in 1992.

On the business and innovation front, Israel and South Korea are also very active. The South Korean multinational technology company Samsung operates the Samsung Israel R&D Center to tap local talent.

Israeli medical imaging company Nano-X Imaging has opened a new semiconductor chip manufacturing plant in South Korea. The facility will manufacture Nanox micromechanical electromechanical systems (“MEMs”) known as Nanox.SOURCE, a chip that produces the company’s Nanox.ARC system digital X-ray source.

South Korea’s SK Telecom was a significant investor in Nano-X and remains a major shareholder. The company raised $165.2 million in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange in 2020.

From left: Akiva Tor, Israeli Ambassador to South Korea, Erez Meltzer, CEO of Nanox Corporation, Tae-Yul Lee, Vice President of the Yongjing Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Il Aung Kim, Chairman of Nanox Corporation of Korea at the operating ceremony for the new chip facility. (politeness)

In addition, Israeli drug developer CytoReason signed a new agreement last week to establish a partnership with Korean biodata giant Helixrus and bring its AI platform for drug discovery and development to the Korean market.

Separately, Israel and South Korea often compete for the top spots in the annual Bloomberg Innovation Index, a survey that ranks countries based on seven criteria for measuring research and productivity.

South Korea ranked first in 2021 in the general index while Israel ranked seventh. However, Israel retained the top position from the previous year in terms of R&D intensity and regained the top position in research focus. South Korea ranked first in patent activity and second in R&D intensity and manufacturing value added.

A 2017 report by the Israel Innovation Authority stated that a synergistic relationship based on complementary contrasts exists between Israel and South Korea in the areas of innovation and trade.

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