OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy

1993-4211 (online)
1993-4203 (print)
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The OECD Reviews of Innovation Policy offer a comprehensive assessment of the innovation system of individual OECD countries and partner economies, focusing on the role of government. They provide concrete recommendations on how to improve policies that affect innovation performance, including R&D policies. Each review identifies good practices from which other countries can learn.

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Industry and Technology Policies in Korea

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21 May 2014
9789264213227 (PDF) ;9789264213210(print)

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The Korean innovation system is in many ways highly developed and has helped to underpin Korea’s rapid industrialisation. However, long-standing policy emphases on manufacturing and large firms are today in question. Structural problems - such as the relatively weak innovation performance of SMEs, a lagging services sector and limited domestic job creation among the industrial conglomerates - have led to a shift in policy priorities. This shift is crystallised in the current government’s Creative Economy Strategy, which entails a far-reaching set of measures aimed at fostering cutting-edge innovation and consolidating a knowledge-based economy increasingly driven by high-value services. This review addresses Korea’s industry and technology policies and institutions, and provides policy recommendations.

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  • Foreword

    This review of Korea’s Policies for Industry and Technology was requested by the Korean authorities, represented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE), and was carried out by the OECD’s Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (DSTI) under the auspices of the Committee for Industry, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE).

  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Executive summary

    In many respects, the Korean innovation system is highly developed. But Korea will need to address a number of economic and institutional challenges to sustain a steady flow of innovations and drive productivity increases in manufacturing and services.

  • Assessment and recommendations for Korea's policies on industry and technology

    This chapter provides an overview of the key analytic findings and policy recommendations contained in this study of industry and technology policies in Korea. Overall, five main issues are addressed: the innovation system and the Creative Economy Strategy; the evaluation system for R and D programmes and projects; the commercialisation of publicly supported research; entrepreneurship and SME growth; the relative performance of the manufacturing and services sectors; and, the Creative Economy Strategy as a form of industrial policy.

  • The innovation system and the Creative Economy Strategy

    This chapter provides an overview of the recent evolution of innovation and technology policies in Korea. The main features of the Creative Economy Strategy are described. Relevant legislative developments, the functions of key institutions, and governance arrangements are also examined.

  • Korea's evaluation system for research and development

    This chapter analyses the salient features of Korea’s system of ex ante and ex post R and D programme and project evaluation. R and D project evaluation processes in a set of other OECD countries are described, and comparisons are drawn with practices in Korea. Conceptual and practical challenges in evaluating project and programme impacts are considered. Principles and practices in managing evaluation findings are discussed. Future directions for policy are assessed.

  • Commercialising publicly supported research

    This chapter reviews Korea’s record on commercialisation of publicly supported R and D. The key policies and institutions that affect commercialisation are examined. Emerging international experiences in commercialising public research are described. Challenges for policy in Korea and possible ways forward are also discussed.

  • Encouraging more start-ups and SME growth

    This chapter examines selected indicators of entrepreneurship and SME development in Korea. Key framework conditions are examined, along with policies and programmes in fields ranging from entrepreneurship education and SME finance to business incubation. An assessment is made of possible ways forward for policy.

  • A new balance between manufacturing and services

    chapter examines the economic performance of the services sector in Korea and analyses reasons for the sector’s relative weaknesses. Recent policies to strengthen the sector are described. Possible ways forward for policy are also considered, from framework conditions to the design of targeted policy initiatives.

  • The Creative Economy Strategy as industrial policy

    This chapter examines recent experiences with industrial policy in Korea and other OECD countries. The merits and demerits of sector targeting are examined. The chapter considers the possibility of jointly pursuing a sectoral and technology-based approach. Drawing on international experience, suitable characteristics of a sectoral approach are also discussed.

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