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S. Korea to spend 37.5 bln won on 'convergence technology' in 2019

All Headlines 12:01 January 13, 2019

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will invest 37.5 billion won (US$33.6 million) this year in developing converging technologies in the fields of robotics, biology and artificial intelligence (AI), the government said Sunday.

The Ministry of Science and ICT said it has finalized the scale of various projects to secure core technologies that augment human strength and ability, such as artificial limbs and robotic arms.

"The ministry aims to obtain research results beyond the existing technology by continuing to support the development of innovative convergence technology based on this year's projects," Ko Seo-gon, a ministry official in charge of the projects, said in a press release.

But the earmarked budget is smaller than last year's 43.4 billion won, according to the ministry.

Of the budget, 6.2 billion won will be allocated to develop prosthetics that mimic human skin, muscle and bone structure to eventually develop bionic arms.

The project will involve developing trial products and conducting a test to see whether monkey brains can control and adapt to bionic arms, officials said.

Another 2.1 billion won will be injected to develop artificial materials that resemble human tissues, officials said.

The ministry said it will also actively support research into developing eco-friendly plastic substitutes that are biodegradable and natural.

The logo of the Ministry of Science and ICT. (Yonhap)

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