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[Sponsored Report] Samsung opens C-Lab to outside innovators

Revamped start-up hub will develop 500 new ideas over the next five years
Oct 27,2018
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From left, Lee Jae-il, director of C-lab, speaks at the Center for Intelligent Computing, a joint research institute developed with Seoul National University, on Oct. 17. Entrepreneurs at C-Lab exchange their ideas at the Seoul National University campus. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]
Samsung Electronics plans to use the experience it gained operating the C-Lab for the past six years to develop 500 internal and external start-up businesses over the next five years.

Of the 500 companies, 300 are external start-ups and 200 have been developed within Samsung Electronics.

As part of the company’s economic activation and job creation measures announced on Aug. 8, Samsung hopes that fostering start-ups will contribute to strengthen the general business environment in Korea.

Samsung has already chosen 15 teams that are now hard at work in the company’s R&D center.


C-Lab Outside

Samsung Electronics will extend its external start-up support from the existing mobile field to the entire IT sector. In addition, it will expand to include second and third-year start-ups and even ideas that haven’t yet been launched.

The 15 external start-ups that Samsung will focus on this year were selected from a variety of fields including artificial intelligence, health, virtual reality, augmented reality, fintech, robotics and cameras from 331 start-ups that applied for the opportunity.

The 15 selected start-ups include V Touch, which is working on recognizing movements by virtually touching remote objects, Data Republic, which develops artificial-intelligence application programming interfaces and chatbots that learn and develop themselves, and Do Brain, a company that uses technology to diagnose and treat infant developmental disorders.

The companies will be able to freely use the on-campus conference rooms and executive cafeteria for free for one year at Samsung Electronics’ Seoul R&D campus in Seocho District, southern Seoul, next month.

In addition, a support budget of up to 100 million won ($87,630), internal and external professional mentoring, patent, tax and other professional support and opportunities to participate in overseas IT exhibitions such as CES and Mobile World Congress will be offered to the start-ups.
Samsung Electronics will hold a competition in the second half of each year and select start-ups to foster. In addition, Samsung will continue to identify competitive start-ups and people with innovative ideas.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics also plans to foster 200 start-ups through the existing Daegu-Kyungbook Creative Innovation Center. The company will continue to foster start-ups through the center until 2022, and will continue to work alongside local governments. Samsung Electronics has already selected 41 start-ups to support.


C-Lab Inside

Samsung Electronics will also continue to support employees to freely create ideas through C- Lab.

C-Lab, introduced at the end of 2012, promotes a culture of innovation and has become a major creative program for Samsung Electronics.
Success stories include Relúmino, a visual aid application that helps people with poor vision to see better, and Ignis, a small thermal-imaging camera that work as a firefighter’s eyes in extreme conditions with poor visibility.

A total of 917 employees have participated in 228 projects at C-Lab over the past six years. In November last year, C-Lab moved to the Center for Intelligent Computing, a joint research institute developed with Seoul National University, to further strengthen external collaboration.

In addition, C-Lab projects that can be run independently have been separated from Samsung Electronics. So far, 34 start-ups that began as internal projects have been launched on their own through C-Lab, creating about 170 jobs.

At the end of October this year, EVAR, an autonomous mobile robot that automatically charges electric cars, and GoBreath, a respiratory rehabilitation solution to prevent pulmonary complications that may occur after anesthesia, will be launched as independent start-ups.

“We will grow together by expanding the C-Lab program into our society to nurture start-ups and provide partnerships with start-ups that can cooperate with Samsung Electronics,” said Lee Jae-il, director of C-Lab at Samsung Electronics. “We will also contribute to spreading a culture that challenges start-ups.”