|▲ Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency for SMEs / President Lee Jae-hong|
A small and medium enterprise is a company with less than 1,000 employees, less than 500 billion won (461 million USD) total assets amount, average 150 billion won sales for the last 3 years, and less than 50 billion won owner's equity. Around 99.8% of companies in South Korea belong to this category.
To support SMEs, the government is running the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the Korea SMEs and Startups Agency. CEOs of SMEs are also running their own organization KBIZ Korea Federation of SMEs to protect their rights and interests.
The Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency for SMEs (TIPA) was established in January 2002 to support innovative growth of SMEs and to carry out government policies. It is an affiliate of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups focusing on promoting R&D and smart factory system.
As of the year 2020, TIPA has given out 1.2 trillion won to 11,000 SMEs for R&D and 460 billion won to 6,400 SMEs for smart factory and information. TIPA launched the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Council in July 2019 and 295 (51.6%) SMEs worth 100 billion won alongside 675 (51.4%) KOSDAQ listed SMEs have been benefited from the R&D support of TIPA.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare reported July this year that 66 companies have exported COVID-19 in vitro diagnostic assay kits. 52 out of the 66, a total of 65 kinds of kit, have received the R&D support of TIPA.
TIPA is actively engaging in donation to people and micro business owners in need, regional economy reactivation, and promoting transparent management of business by obtaining ISO 37001 (international standard for anti-bribery management systems).
TIPA runs the SMEs 24 which provided application for 63 projects and 8 kinds of certificates and confirmation documents at one place while the Participatory R&D Group invites citizens in the field to join the government R&D policy review.
TIPA has appointed 44 innovative products of SMEs for electric public procurement system and 9 products created 1.8 billion won sales within a month. May this year, TIPA built a cooperation channel with the Korean Air Force to supply goods worth 15.5 billion won.
"TIPA has played a role in supporting technological advancement of Korean SMEs since 2002. We are focusing on turning SMEs to R&D and smart factory-driven systems through in-depth analysis on government policies, strategies and R&D appraisal and management. We will keep working hard to listen the needs and wants of SMEs and to bring answers and support" say TIPA president Lee Jae-hong.
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