SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Yonhap) — Nearly 2,400 government institutions and companies presented the latest technology and products that center on President Park Geun-hye’s “creative economy” drive on Thursday amid a widening influence-peddling scandal surrounding the president and her confidante.
The “2016 Creative Economy Exhibition” kicked off at the Convention and Exhibition Center (COEX) in southern Seoul for a four-day run. The event, the fourth of its kind, is hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.
The ministry said this year’s event is the biggest of its kind as a record number of 1,687 government institutions gathered to promote the country’s creative economy policies. A total of 718 local firms, including startups, were also invited to share their achievements in the technology realm.
Since taking office in 2013, Park has pushed forward the “creative economy” policy by aiming to merge different industrial sectors, mostly with information and communications technologies, to generate new business opportunities and foster the growth of startups.
However, her centerpiece policy came under crisis due to the snowballing scandal involving Choi Soon-sil, as prosecutors allege that she had intervened in state affairs and personally benefited by using her friendship with President Park.
There have been mounting suspicions that Choi even spearheaded many of Park’s policies, including the creative economy policy. The ministry denies the allegations.
“The exhibition was prepared with more effort as there are mounting concerns,” said Koh Kyeong-mo, an ICT ministry official, adding that this event would actually help many local firms.
In an effort to present how far the paradigm has shifted in the past four years, 13 government ministries and agencies worked together to organize the event, the ministry said.
An exhibition hall was presented in five different themes, including the one where 40 startups presented their latest products and technology that show how the latest IT is now incorporated into everyday lives. The startup firms all got help from “creative economy innovation centers” in 17 locations across the country.
To push for the initiative, the central government, in cooperation with provincial governments, has established the centers to match up local startups and venture firms with conglomerates. The centers have also provided various kinds of support for aspiring entrepreneurs both at home and abroad.
Virtualive, which started with the help of the creative economy center in Gyoneggi Province, introduced a hair solution system called “Hair Fit.”
The application creates a virtual hairstyle customized to each person and displays a photo of the virtual hairstyle based on the customized data.
“The product was developed so that customers can experience a virtual hairstyle before actually getting a new style,” said Lee Jae-yoel, adding that the company used a technology called a live motion engine that creates virtual hairstyles looking very natural.
The company said it is currently in discussion with foreign firms to export its product, adding that it has inked partnerships with major hair salons in the country.
Another startup company, August 10, introduced a beauty mask based on Internet of Things (IoT) technology that greatly enhances cosmetics to be absorbed.
Noticeably, the Secret 810 Mask has an IoT interface and can be connected with existing information technology systems and other IT devices such as smartphones and PCs. It evaluates a person’s skin status based on Big Data.
The IoT is a network of physical objects, including vehicles, buildings and electronic devices, connected to the Internet to exchange data. It allows such objects to be sensed and controlled remotely.
The company, which aims to enter the global market with the help of the center in Sejong, said creative centers are crucial for startups which desperately need finance and guidance.
“It is a shame that there are rumors that the centers will be scrapped after this administration,” said an August 10 official surnamed Choi.
Earlier, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said it plans to withdraw the budget for one of the 17 centers located in Seoul. The city government injected 1 billion won (US$854,000) into the center last year but said it plans to withdraw the 2 billion won allocated for this year.
Also, there are moves in the National Assembly to cut back the budget for the creative centers next year.
Earlier, the government announced that the budget allocated for creative economy innovation centers will be increased by 8.5 percent on-year to 607.2 billion won in 2017.
The ministry in charge of the innovation centers argues that the centers have no connection to the current scandal and are essential for venture firms.
“Visitors can experience creative economy business models here and understand how products and technology based on the creative economy are incorporated into everyday life,” said Koh.
The ministry argues that the centers have offered various forms of support to 1,175 startups and 1,644 small and medium-sized enterprises, and have helped attract investments worth $256 million for these local firms.
Also, major conglomerates, including Samsung Electronics, set up their booths and presented the latest technology to catch up with the fast-paced industrial transformation dubbed the “fourth industrial revolution.”
Naver Corp., the operator of South Korea’s dominant Internet portal, set up a booth to introduce its latest translation application based on new artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Naver said “pappago” has been switched to a new system called Neural Machine Translation (NMT), an end-to-end learning framework that learns from millions of examples.
“The NMT system interprets entire sentences by understanding factors within the sentences,” said Hong Kyong-pyo, a Naver official, adding that the system is much more accurate and smart.
The multilingual system is based on machine learning that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed, Naver said.
Kia Motors Corp., South Korea’s second-largest carmaker, unveiled an autonomous concept car for commuters, the Soul First Class.
The event is open to the public and free of charge, the ministry said.
Omar Todd has held the position of Global Technical Director of the Sea Shepherd Global since December 2012. He knows how to use social media to get tangible and specific results.
Even today a lot of business people, including C-level executives, VPs, and managing directors are afraid of social media. It is easy to understand why. Business people at this level are very busy. They are managing teams of people, making important decisions about strategy, reporting to investors.
This lack of familiarity and understanding often results in contempt. Such people don’t understand how social media can be used for business. They have a lot of fears. One of them is “people will say bad things about my company, and I won’t be able to do anything about it.”
Social media can be used to improve all three of the most important business metrics: revenue, cost savings, and customer satisfaction.
The smart approach is to figure out what social media can do for your business, and then focus on the metrics that matter most to you. In addition to improving sales and customer satisfaction, social media can help businesses build loyalty, improve brand image, conduct research, and more.
For example, if you have issued a recall notice and your product has been featured in the news from a negative angle, your goal could be to use social media to protect your brand’s reputation. Your measure of success in this scenario could be a decrease in negative searches on Google that include your company name and a reduction of the number of negative comments on certain websites and pages.
Omar Todd knows how to tackle business problems using social media. If you are interested in social media solutions that deliver results, you can seek him out for help.
Omar Todd created The Internet Society of Australia, ISOC-AU, in 1996, but he has been involved with the Internet and technology since 1985. This experience gives him a unique perspective on the Internet, social media, and marketing on the Internet.
We live in the age of mistrust. Businesses and non-profits over promise and under deliver, especially on the Internet. This is why most Internet users are very doubtful when it comes to business and non-profits online.
They may trust you because they’ve done business with you in the past, but they are skeptical if they have never heard of you prior to stumbling across your social media page on the Internet. Your prospective customers or supporters have been burned before many times, be it by online purchases that were not delivered on time or non-profit donations that were not spent as promised.
This is why when marketing online you absolutely need to give your prospects and customers something of value before asking them to do anything.
You can use your content to build trust and highlight important issues. Only then should you explain why your solution is the best.
To start, identify where your customers are mentally and emotionally when it comes to your products or your cause. Then connect with them by showing them that you understand where they are or, even better, that you have been there yourself. Next, offer value in order to take them closer to doing business with you.
Answer the following question: what do all people that are your customers or donors know and believe about you?
This should be your goal when it comes to your prospects. You want to “take them to a place” where they believe and know the same things about you that your current customers or donors do. Begin with the end in mind. That’s the key to success on social media.
To accomplish this goal, create an integrated content plan. The word integrated is very important here. You do not want to randomly be posting things on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They should all be interconnected, send the same message, and support the same goal.
When formulating your plan, create a theme related to the subject or the journey of your prospects. Your goal is about you. The subject should be about your prospects. The theme should be about something that is fresh, timely and important to your market.
Print magazines usually follow this strategy. Every month a magazine will have a certain central theme in the issue. Most content in that month’s magazine will revolve around that issue. This is a proven, winning formula that applies to social media.
Omar Todd is an expert on this and many other Internet-related subjects. If you need a knowledgeable speaker for your event, contact Mr. Todd to inquire about his availability.