Maker Movement and Creative Culture in Korea

Saturday, February 13, 2016: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Salon 1 (Marriott Wardman Park)
Seunghwan Kim, KOFAC, Seoul, South Korea
In the aftermath of the Korean War, the Republic of Korea was one of the world's poorest countries. However, after 50 years since the initiative established to develop science and technology in 1966, Korea stands tall as a contributor to the global society today. The Republic of Korea has nurtured outstanding human resources for science and technology and has fostered science technology and relevant industries by making strategic investments. It has become a global leader in various industries including the automobile, the shipbuilding, and the information and communication sectors, particularly with respect to semiconductors and cell phone technology.

The Korea Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Creativity (KOFAC) is exerting great effort in promoting maker culture in Korea, stimulating the unique Korean DNA for science technology and creativity inherited from ancestors within the culture of cherishing technology and respecting master craftsmen. In spite of the rather late start of just 50 years ago, Korea wants to take the initiative in developing maker culture around the world.

Maker activities have huge economic potential. A number of maker spaces are being established in Korea, and people can realize their creativity and start up their business, which lead to a new economy. The ideas of individuals are united with various production tools and platforms, the cutting-edge information and communication technology and infrastructure of Korea, realizing a new future. This is a key value of the creative economy.

The Korean government is making great effort to support all processes from the production of a pilot product based on a creative idea, to the establishment of a new industry, to the development of a global market, in order to spread maker culture and to advance the industry. The facilitation of maker culture in the private sector is aided by institutional support, such as crowd funding. KOFAC is supporting maker culture by promoting science culture through its Software education and STEM education programs. It establishes an environment where various people participate in, cooperate for, and share maker activities.