SEOUL, June 20 (Korea Bizwire) – To make Korea one of the leading countries in utilizing 3D printers, the Korean government announced a master plan to promote the industry including training 10 million creative makers and spreading the 3D printer usage infrastructure.
On June 18, officials at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning held its first meeting of “3D Printing Industry Development Council” and approved the master plan.
According to the plan, the ministries will train 10 million professionals including students and future entrepreneurs on 3D printing, provide 3D printers in schools and offer them chances to make practical use of the printers in self-workshops on the spot.
Also to expand 3D printing technology and to create its demand, the ministries will construct an innovative manufacturing support center in the Seoul metropolitan area and add more base centers related to the local industries.
The 3D Printing Industry Development Council which will steer the issues related to the industry is comprised of high-ranking officials from 13 government ministries and agencies. It will hold plenary meetings biannually and decide various issues on the industry.
Educating 10 Million Creative Makers of 3D Printing
To create early market demands on 3D and nurture related content industry, the Korean government decided to offer courses to train 10 million creative makers by 2020 and support them to join in the creative economy.
For this, Korea will develop detailed curriculums based on 3D printing technology experience by level and sector and offer customized education following the targets of 2.3 million students of elementary, middle and high schools, 476,000 adults, 40,000 future entrepreneurs, 133,000 public officers and the 15,000 digitally underprivileged.
It also plans to train top-level human resources on 3D printing including various classes of lecturers for the 3D education and technicians in the business sector by training employees in the business and supporting undergraduate and graduate programs.
Besides, the government will form an atmosphere in which anyone can make practical use of 3D in nearby places. To reinforce the 3D printer usage ability and expand the bases for the 3D printing industry, it plans to provide 227 3D printers in science halls and libraries and 5,885 printers to schools, approximately 50 percent of the total schools in Korea by 2017.
Also, through the cooperation together with local governments, local software promotion agencies and private companies, it will set up 130 self-workshops by 2017 and help 1.5 million people experience the cutting-edge technology.
To secure and utilize various 3D printing contents, the government will also prepare a content distribution system. By constructing a database for 3D printing contents, it will collect and register various contents related to 3D printing provided by students, ordinary people and private companies as well as contents owned by public agencies and local governments. Along with the database, it will build a 3D printing content distribution platform through which people can use the contents freely and easily.
Meanwhile, it will support a healthy distribution of contents by applying Universal Content Identifier (UCI) and to protect intellectual property rights. It will prepare various technical and policy schemes like digital right management (DRM) for 3D printing.
Also, to manage various platforms related to the 3D printing industry, it will run one-stop “National 3D Printing Composite Portal” which links and supports the platforms on related information and services.
Setting up Innovative Manufacture Support Centers for 3D Printing
To enhance the manufacturing process of major industries like automobile, electronics, aerospace, the government decided to urge manufacturers to make practical use of 3D printing. For this, it will form a composite support infrastructure from this year.
In spite of increased needs on 3D printing in overall domestic industries, the existing 3D printing equipment is not adequate for small and mid-sized companies and most of the equipment is used for experimental products. To encourage the trend toward more 3D printing usage, the innovative manufacture support centers will help introduce 3D printing technology in overall sectors, making the better use of 3D printing infrastructure, training experts and disseminating related information.
The centers will be set up in six areas including the Seoul metropolitan area, Chungcheong provinces, Gangwon province, Gyeongsang provinces and Jeolla provinces. The government will set up one in the metropolitan area and expand the centers gradually.
With the master plan, it expects to train 10 million work forces in the industry by 2020 and to create various new industries and jobs. At the same time, it expects to reinforce the competitiveness of existing industries of Korea through raised technology competitiveness in 3D printing and technical support for innovative manufacturing.
Yoon Jong-lok, second vice-minister of the ICT ministry said, “When we say that software is a technology realizing our imagination into unseen solutions, 3D printing realizes them in tangible ways. We need to strengthen our ability to prepare for the future knowledge society by forming a creative culture where all the people can demonstrate their creativeness and imaginativeness freely.”
Written by John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)