South Korea

Clusters in South Korea are slowly emerging entities, with a specific focus in the sectors of cosmetics/pharma, consumer goods, packaging and water. The EU and South Korea have developed a stable economic relationship over time, which has naturally given rise to a bilateral cooperation on cluster development.

Economic and political context and framework

South Korea is considered to have a very stable macroeconomic and political environment, with an innovative economy.

Cluster community in the country

KICOX (Korea Industrial Complex) is the central contact point for policy dialogue on cluster collaboration in South Korea. KICOX is appointed by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE). The platform for South Korea clusters is organized by KICOX. In Korea, clusters are known as “Mini Clusters”, and they are typically located within industrial complexes or technology parks.

Cluster policies encouraging the development and internationalisation of clusters

KICOX (Korea Industrial Complex) is responsible for the development of international programs for the development of clusters in South Korea.

Cluster to cluster cooperation opportunities and potential interest from European clusters and SMEs

A number of EU clusters and SMEs have already collaborated with Korean counterparts. An exchange was notably supported through the EU project KORANET that organised a "KOREA-EU Cluster Cooperation Workshop” in 2011. A number of exchanges have also taken place in 2015 and 2016 between EU clusters and different Korean actors.


There are interesting examples of formal agreements signed directly between European clusters and South Korean organisations, such as an MoU between the Belgium competitive cluster WAGRALIM with KFRI, the Korea Food Research Institute. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the former ECCP team and KICOX in 2011. This MoU was meant to set the basis for both cluster-to-cluster collaboration, as well as policy dialogue. The strongest sectors for EU-Korea cluster collaboration are in the areas of cosmetics/pharma, food sector, consumer goods, packaging, bio and water sectors.Read less.




Date Name Target Type
Monday, 21 January, 2019 - 09:00 New EU-funded opportunity for green energy companies in Korea SME Matchmaking
Thursday, 17 May, 2018 - 08:30 EU - Asia Gateway 2018 - The 4th Transylvanian International Clusters Conference Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania May 16 – 18 2018 Cluster managers, Cluster Policy Makers, Investors, Large audience, SME Conference, Matchmaking, Workshop
Monday, 28 May, 2018 - 07:00 Contemporary European Design companies are invited to apply for a business mission to Seoul, South Korea SME Matchmaking
Sunday, 12 March, 2017 - 08:00 Healthcare & Medical Technologies Business Mission (South Korea) Cluster managers, Cluster Policy Makers, Project coordinators, SME Matchmaking, Seminar, Webinar, Workshop
Sunday, 29 January, 2017 - 08:45 Green Energy Technologies Business Mission (South Korea) Cluster managers, Cluster Policy Makers, Investors, Project coordinators, SME Matchmaking, Seminar, Webinar, Workshop
Monday, 3 July, 2017 - 09:30 Environment & Water Technologies Business Mission Investors, SME Conference, Matchmaking, Seminar, Workshop
Monday, 13 March, 2017 - 08:45 Healthcare & Medical Technologies business mission to KOREA SME Matchmaking
Monday, 10 March, 2014 - 09:45 EU Gateway Mission to Korea Cluster managers, Large audience, SME Matchmaking


ESCP-4i News


ESCP-4is targetting this country

Acronym Name Sector(s) Targeted third countries No. of SME involved No. of Partners
bioXclusters plus ESCP on Personalised Healthcare Biopharmaceuticals

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCESMedicine, Human HealthPharmaceutical Products / Drugs
Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), United States 880 4
FoodNet Food In Eco Network Transportation and Logistics

Algeria, China, India, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan 362 5
LASER-GO GLOBAL European Cluster Partnership in Photonics for Health Lighting and Electrical Equipment

BIOLOGICAL SCIENCESMedicine, Human HealthMedical Technology / Biomedical Engineering
Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Singapore, United States 240 6
New Frontier in Food New Frontiers for Emerging Industries in Food Food Processing and Manufacturing

AGROFOOD INDUSTRYTechnologies for the food industryFood Technology
Brazil, Canada, China, Japan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Taiwan, Thailand, United States 514 4