Contributing to solving global water problems by developing the domestic water industry
National Water Industry Cluster Resident Corporation Council
The National Water Industry Cluster was established in 2019 to provide support from water technology development to overseas market entry through pan-national cooperation in order to preoccupy the expanding global water market. Schools, research institutes, public institutions, and even the central and local governments are stepping up to help companies research and develop products, commercialize them, and export them overseas.
The cluster has made it a place companies want to come to by providing support from the basic infra, application, convergence, and research of the water industry to professional manpower training, start-up, incubation, marketing, and overseas expansion. The cluster operates a water convergence research center, water campus, and global business center, and enables product development, certification, and verification to be performed in one place through various demonstration test facilities. The cluster, located in Daegu, is run by the Korea Environment Corporation and boasts latest equipment. Thus, Daegu has become the home of the domestic water industry and a hub for exports.
Currently, about 130 water industry-related companies have moved in and are working day and night to advance into the world through research and development. The National Water Industry Cluster Resident Corporation Council was established in 2017 to overcome difficult thresholds through teamwork while further strengthening links between companies and sharing information.
Signing a MOU with the Korea Environment Corporation and the Korea Testing Laboratory for win-win cooperation
Conducting overseas donation with young individuals and companies
The cluster singed a MOU with the Korea Environment Corporation and the Korea Testing Laboratory for win-win cooperation in March 2021. In this MOU, following were agreed to be carried out together: certification, verification, joint research, water industry information sharing, water technology commercialization, job creation, performance test, and standardization foundation for evaluation for international recognition of water technology and products.
In November 2022, the cluster provided employment opportunities to young people through the “Honey JOB Dream” agreement with two universities in Daegu and the Daegu Public Facilities Management Corporation, while also allowing them to participate in talent training programs. In July 2020, the cluster signed an agreement with Samsung Engineering, Daegu Metropolitan City, and Korea Environment Corporation to develop the water industry and create jobs.
The cluster also donated student support funds from multicultural families, scholarships from the Iksan Sarang Scholarship Foundation, masks and processed goods in the region while giving out a water treatment device to Vietnam.
State support is needed to foster the water industry
We will continue to make efforts to invite promising companies
National Water Industry Cluster Resident Corporation Council Chairman Lee Jeong-gon said that water was the source of all lives and industries. Water is directly or indirectly linked to all industries and everyday life.
Chairman Lee said, “The world cannot function without water. So, even now, we need to feel the importance of the water industry and learn about the impact it has on the region and the economy of Korea. The development of the water industry is an important part of economic development and requires a lot of effort.”
In his opinion, state support is desperately needed for the development of the water industry. After the cluster was formed, interest in the water industry increased and there was a lot of support, but the phenomenon of development manpower still flocking to the metropolitan area has not been resolved, and the infrastructure problem to attract such excellent manpower has not yet been resolved.
|▲ National Water Industry Cluster Resident Corporation Council / Chairman Lee Jeong-gon
He said, “It would have been nice if the settlement conditions to solve the supply and demand of medical care, education, transportation, and manpower were included while creating the industrial complex, but at present, such areas are incomplete. In order to attract excellent young and female talent, it is essential to expand educational infrastructure such as daycare centers. The combined number of companies that have built factories in the cluster, companies that have moved into the research complex, and people engaged in facility operation management reaches 5,000, but there is no daycare center in the cluster. In order to open a daycare center, Dalseong-gun and Daegu City, which have administrative jurisdiction, must pay attention, and the budget and site also require support from the central government. The process of certification and verification necessary for a company to develop a product and commercialize it through demonstration is distributed to several institutions, so close collaboration between institutions is also required.”
For this, he also argued that it is necessary to integrate the Water Technology Certification Institute into the Water Industry Promotion Institute and transfer the test and analysis center early to develop standards, test and analysis, improve efficiency in authentication and verification, and prepare a virtuous cycle system.
He said “Due to the dispersal of management entities, institutions and information networks, inefficient authentication management continues. This causes water companies to spend an excessive amount of time, resulting in cost and market difficulties.”
To solve this problem, the cluster insists that water industry certification should be managed in an integrated way by unifying the window for water-related certification systems.
He also said that as the water industry has a large proportion of public works, the central or local governments need to provide support by first introducing products, technologies, and solutions from cluster tenant companies. Chairman Lee argues that the water industry should be revitalized by giving opportunities to companies that produce excellent but not widely known products through this.
Regarding the prospects for the future, he said, “Companies here have come to the stage where tangible results can be seen through supporting and revitalizing. We will continue to develop the national water industry by actively attracting companies with excellent technology and competitiveness to the national water industry cluster.”
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