March 30, 2020

Seoul’s test bed policy to open way for tech startups

PUBLISHED : September 06, 2019 - 17:35

UPDATED : September 06, 2019 - 17:35

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Experts at the Start-Up Seoul: Tech-Rise 2019 forum on Sept. 6 unanimously underlined the need for stronger support of the local government to help tech firms successfully enter the market

During the test bed policy session held on the last day of the three-day event, officials from the government and CEOs of startups gathered to discuss how the local government should reposition itself in the startup ecosystem to bolster the successful launch of innovative technologies.

Test bed policy forum during Start-Up Seoul: Tech-Rise 2019 at Dongdaemun Digital Plaza on Sept. 6 (Start-Up Seoul: Tech-Rise 2019)

“The Seoul test bed policy emphasizes that the government will be a bridge linking innovative firms in need of the test bed environment with their prospective buyers,” Seoul Institute of Technology President Koh In-suk said in his opening speech. SIT is a research institute funded by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

During his congratulatory message, Cho In-dong, director of Seoul city’s Economic Policy Office, called for closer cooperation by the government and the private conglomerates enabling tech ventures to enter the market.

“The process of building a startup firm is like raising a child. Creating (the technology) from scratch and cultivating it requires help from experts,” Cho said. “The most difficult part in this process is launching the developed product or service in the market and gaining traction. Without this, all the previous efforts will be futile.”

Korea Society for Innovation, Management and Economics Chairman Lee Byeong-heon urged more aggressive changes in related regulations.

“South Korea must now establish demand-pulling policies regarding innovate technologies developed by ventures, compared to the past when the government undertook technology-pushing (developing) role when we could only emulate the technologies of advanced countries and fell short,” Lee said.

In line with the test bed policy, SIT launched the New Technology Reception Desk in June to receive, evaluate, and support the inventions of startups, connecting them with the official authorities. Around 130,000 inventors have proposed their ideas to the desk and more than 120 technologies have been registered since its establishment. The reception desk is open throughout the year to small and medium-sized tech enterprises.

Experts, including Chairman Lee, Director General for Economy and Employment of Seoul Metropolitan Government Kim Tae-hee and head of Seoul Technology Innovation Center of SIT Park Dae-geun, introduced the city’s policies regarding cultivation of an innovative startup ecosystem. DroMii, finding solutions for road safety using drone and deep-learning technologies, and Resetcompany, developing unmanned cleaning service for solar panels installed on public sites -- two ventures funded test beds by Seoul -- shared their experience during the session.

By Choi Ji-won (

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