Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The K-ICT strategy to realize the creative economy

On March 24 the powerful Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) released its K-ICT strategy, providing a vision for how this nation intends to transform itself into a "creative economy," the central policy initiative of the Park Geun-hye administration.  I have not yet seen a full English translation of the announcement of the K-ICT strategy, but readers can access the Korean press release using this hyperlink.  The video accompanying this post provides a quick overview of some of the high points in the strategy.  If anyone ever doubted the ambitious nature of Korea's goals for its ICT sector and the role of that sector in future economic growth, this new five-year strategy or "roadmap" should put those doubts to rest.  While the MSIP announcement clarifies the size of this country's investment and the main economic and industry sectors that are involved, it also raises some questions.  For example, the strategy includes a plan to demonstrate 5G mobile technology at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, scheduled for less than three years from now. The success of such an effort depends on progress toward internationally agreed standards for 5G and whether that will occur in time for Pyeongchang is open to question.  Furthermore, one can argue that the real impact of 5G mobile communication will have more to do with the sort of content, applications and services that can be displayed.  Here Samsung Electronics, which just signed a major domestic sponsorship deal with the Pyeongchang organizing committee, and is a leading TOP sponsor of the Olympics globally, should take note.  During the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, Samsung distributed thousands of Galaxy Note 3 devices to Olympic athletes and other member of the Olympic family.  While a similar effort with next generation mobile devices will no doubt be part of the plan for Pyeongchang, Samsung may miss a golden opportunity if it does not simultaneously release an array of  applications targeted at the international visitors who will come to Korea before, during and after the 2018 Winter Olympic games and the global television audience. The time to develop and market such apps is now, not in 2018.

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