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Smart industrial complex test sites are chosen

Feb 21,2019
Two locations have been chosen as test beds for smart-industrial complexes, with the government aiming to establish 10 such sites by 2022.

From an original pool of 44 candidates, Changwon, South Gyeongsang, and the Banwol Special Zone, Gyeonggi, have been selected. A total of 15 candidates were disqualified on the grounds that they were too small, each with fewer than 10 companies.

According to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Wednesday, factors considered in the selection process included the importance of the industries already operating within the complexes and the effect of the choice on both industry and the regions.

Changwon was selected for its potential in advancing smart technologies related to machinery, as many machinery and electronics companies are in the area.

The South Gyeongsang city is expected to develop smart technologies in cooperation with regional universities and corporate research and development centers.

“South Gyeongsang has shown a strong interest as it has secured its own budget” for smart industrial complexes, a ministry official said.

Last year, Changwon generated a total production value of 50.3 trillion won ($44.8 billion), achieved “exports” of $15.6 billion and employed 124,000 people.

Banwol was selected as it has 18,000 companies specializing in parts development. The government said it expects the upgrade of the industrial complex to have a major impact.

Siheung, located nearby, is a test bed for smart cities, and synergies are seen as possible with the Banwol smart-industrial complex.

Planning for the smart industrial complexes will begin in April. The government allocated 217.1 billion won in the budget for the effort.

In the drive to develop smart-industrial complexes, data centers will be connected with smart factories and the industrial complexes will be upgraded with support for workers, start-ups and new industries.

The government plans to create a manufacturing industry data center that will not only collect information but will also analyze and provide solutions to companies that are operating within the complexes.

A network of companies, schools and research centers will be created, and the sharing of data is expected to maximize productivity.

The ministry said the connection of smart factories to data centers has the potential to boost productivity 30 percent, while group buying by companies within the industrial complexes will drive costs down by 30 percent.

In order to create a worker-friendly environment, housing will be developed and include worker dormitories, officetels and low-rent apartments. Welfare facilities, such as cultural centers, day care centers, gyms and libraries, will also be developed.

Start-up centers will be established and regulatory sandboxes allowed.

“In situations where regional economies and traditional manufacturing industries, such as the automobile and shipping industries, are struggling, we will be able to find new breakthroughs in our economy by upgrading the smart systems at industrial complexes,” the ministry said.

BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]