Global Business Innovation Programme in South Korea - Advanced Manufacturing

Innovate UK is inviting ambitious companies to participate in a tailored programme that includes virtual workshops, networking, and a market visit. Deadline extended to 5 April.

Opportunity Details


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Innovate UK will fund and organise flights, accommodation, in-market travel, and conference fees for successful applicants. Innovate UK will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative. One representative from each company will be funded.


Innovate UK

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Note: This opportunity is fully funded support and not monetary funding.

This Global Business Innovation Programme aims to help UK businesses to grow and scale on a global stage through building R&D and innovation collaborations and partnerships.

The programme consists of a preparation phase followed by a visit to South Korea, to include a 5-day tailored programme to connect with key stakeholders and leading South Korean advanced manufacturing companies. The programme will provide a unique opportunity to find partners and identify opportunities for technology collaboration.

Delegates will benefit from a follow-up workshop and bespoke support from an Innovate UK innovation and growth specialist to exploit the contacts, opportunities and knowledge gained during the visit and develop crossborder innovation projects.

Find out how our GBIP in South Korea can help your business grow.

The application deadline has been extended to 5 April 2024.

  • A GBIP has three stages:

    Prepare for the market

    Preparing for the market includes the cohort being briefed by sector and market experts on, for example, cultural aspects of conducting business in that country. Delegates receive help to find business partners and arrange meetings and are advised on best practice including the management and protection of their intellectual property.

    Visiting the market

    Visiting the market provides opportunities to attend pre-arranged meetings and activities in order to better understand and maximise the opportunities that the visit presents.

    Exploiting the opportunity

    Exploiting the opportunity is arguably the most important aspect of the programme. To maximise the opportunity, participating companies are given bespoke one-to-one support from an Innovate UK EDGE innovation and growth specialist to help develop and implement an action plan.

    The Global Business Innovation Programme operates on a competitive basis and businesses selected are required to participate in all three stages (some or all of which may be online).

  • To apply, you must:

    • Be a UK based innovation-led company with ambitions to grow and internationalise
    • Be a company with fewer than 500 employees
    • Be able to attend and complete all activities
  • Manufacturing is the mainstay of the Korean economy, accounting for 25.5% of GDP and 90% of exports. In June 2019, the Korean government announced its “Manufacturing Renaissance Vision” to revitalise the manufacturing industry through innovation and by adopting smart, eco-friendly technologies. In 2022 the sector benefitted from a $1.9 billion investment into R&D smart factory projects.

    The government’s roadmap has set out key R&D focus areas including design technology, IIoT platforms, software-integrated operating techniques, smart sensors, robots, data collection and processing technologies. They have committed to create 20 smart industrial zones and 2,000 new AI-powered smart factories by 2030.

    The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has reinforced the government’s plans to help SMEs adopt and expand smart factory technologies, establishing the Smart Manufacturing Innovation Office under the Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency and has plans for 10 major sectors to each have 4,500 smart factories by 2025.

    With an R&D innovation strategy which focuses on greater investment into SMEs, international collaboration and UK-SK bilateral funding opportunities, this market offers significant opportunity for UK SMEs developing advanced manufacturing technologies.

  • As outlined in the Innovate UK materials and manufacturing vision 2050:

    • Materials for the future
    • Smart design
    • Resilient supply chains
    • World-class production
    • Longer in use and reuse
  • Innovate UK will fund and organise flights, accommodation, in-market travel, and conference fees for successful applicants. Innovate UK will also pay for any reasonable adjustments throughout the initiative.

    Only one representative from each company will be funded and the same person will be expected to participate in all parts of the programme.

    On acceptance to the programme a commitment fee of £1000 will be obtained from each delegate, which will be refunded on completion of the full activities and agreed action plan.

    Non-completion after formal acceptance may result in forfeiting some or all the commitment fee.

  • Register for the application briefing event on the 13th of March here.

    Deadline for Applications: 5 April 2024 (note extended deadline)

    Notification of selection: tbc, originally 12th April

    Pre-Visit Workshop in Birmingham: 7th & 8th May

    Innovation Visit: 14th – 22nd June

    Exploitation Workshop: 17th July


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