The Korean government aims to develop its domestic robotics industry into one of the world’s top three by 2013, officials said in April 2009. According to an article in the Joongang Ilbo, the government plans to spend 1 trillion won on research and development in the robot sector over the next five years, which will likely allow Korea to take a 13.3 percent share of the worldwide robotics market, according to the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy’s report to President Lee Myung-bak. In terms of production, the Korean robot industry ranked fifth as of last year, followed by Japan, the United States, Germany and Italy, according to the ministry.
Korea’s global market share stands at 8.9 percent, with exports topping $180 million.
More state research investment would help raise the size of the domestic market, from the current 896 billion won to 4 trillion won in 2013, while the world market for robotics is expected to reach $30 billion by the same year. Since 2002, the government has invested an average of 82.1 billion won annually in robots. Specifically, the government plans to develop robots that are capable of performing surgery, acting as security guards, farming, doing housework and navigating submarines and aircraft.