President Park Geun-hye attended the inauguration ceremony for the Jeonbuk Creative Economy and Innovation Center held in Wansan-gu, Jeonju on November 24. Established by Hyosung with Jeollabuk-do to vitalize the ecosystem for creative economy in Jeonbuk, the Jeonbuk Creative Economy and Innovation Center is a space to create such ecosystem within the area in cooperation with local human resources, startups/venture businesses, universities/research centers, and the local government. “Carbon fiber produced in the Jeonju Plant that was completed last year is receiving attention as the ‘rice of the future industry’ to replace steel, which has been the basic material for the manufacturing industry for thousands of years,” said President Park at the inauguration ceremony. “We must enable startups and venture businesses to actively enter the upstream industry that can apply the strong and lightweight carbon fiber to various products. Furthermore, the Specialized Carbon Business Incubation Center will be an aggregation of Hyosung’s competences from purchasing and disassembling fishing rods to learn the carbon material technologies of other countries, and I expect to see the center produce hidden champions in carbon fiber. I hope Hyosung further develops into a reliable company by establishing good alternatives for regional development.”
<President Park listening attentively to PG Head Hyunsang Cho about Specialized Carbon Business Incubation Center >
Hyosung also plans to build the 1,652.9㎡ (500-pyeong) Specialized Carbon Business Incubation Center by providing the Jeonju Plant site free of charge. Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do is first planning to foster 20 hidden champions and turn them into the bridgehead for the expansion of the ‘carbon cluster’. The center, which will be the hub of fostering SMEs related to carbon and expanding the ‘carbon cluster’, will simultaneously cover a variety of tasks such as funding, sharing of corporate management know-how by conglomerates, commercialization of excellent ideas, and cultivation of new markets using Hyosung’s global network. The companies involved will receive support in product development and experimental equipment as well as materials.
<The Jeonbuk Plant>
Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do has a blueprint of turning Jeonbuk into a mecca for the carbon industry with the Specialized Carbon Business Incubation Center. The key role will be played by both Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do, providing high-performance carbon fiber independently developed and produced by Hyosung for free and promoting development of carbon fiber applied products that is still in its infancy.
<President Park is holding a bag made of carbon fiber>
Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do plan to foster at least 100 innovative SMEs related to carbon and take the level of carbon-related technology in Korea to the world’s top 3, providing support for SMEs in Jeollabuk-do to become ‘national hidden champions’ that symbolize the outcome of creative economy in Korea. The plan is to build a specialized carbon cluster like the Silicon Valley in the U.S. where carbon fiber materials lead to components and then finished products, thereby creating new markets and added values and reaching $10 billion (10 trillion KRW) in the exports of carbon-related products by 2020. This is the future vision of Jeonbuk pursued by Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do to ‘enrich Jeonbuk with carbon fiber’ with the blooming creative economy, supported by the government’s active will to vitalize Jeollabuk-do that had been active in agriculture and tourism but weak in industrial foundation.
<Carbon fiber products widely used in daily life>
The Jeonbuk Creative Economy and Innovation Center opened by Hyosung and Jeollabuk-do is named ‘C’incu Space’ (‘C’ for carbon+culture+creation, added with incubation and space), meaning a space where the core industries of the future in Jeollabuk-do grow around carbon and come to fruition. In time for the inauguration ceremony, Hyosung signed an MOU with related agencies regarding the operation and support of the Jeonbuk Creative Economy and Innovation Center, promotion of pilot projects, creative financing, and cooperation with innovative agencies within the area. In particular, Hyosung signed the ‘diesel bus CNG tank pilot project MOU’ with the local government and bus association to support the increase of demands for carbon materials. CNG tanks, which are made of carbon fiber, prioritize the passengers’ safety with a fuel tank that minimizes explosion risks.
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