Samsung Electronics unveiled its Smart Factory 3.0 project on Wednesday, committing approximately $22.7 million (30 billion won) over the next three years. As part of the project, Samsung will allocate 10 billion won annually to develop and enhance smart factories in 600 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The initial smart factory initiative was introduced by Samsung Electronics in North Gyeongsang Province in 2015. Since then, Samsung has facilitated the construction of smart factories in over 3,000 SMEs across South Korea.
The Smart Factory 3.0 project will leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and data technology. It will also create an ecosystem that supports the growth of local SMEs. By utilizing AI and data-based automation technologies, the project aims to advance existing smart factories.
The project also aims to transform SME-owned factories into intelligent units, capable of proactively handling problems by gathering and analyzing real-time production data, utilizing AI.
The primary objective of the 3.0 project is to enhance the capabilities of existing smart factories for the project participants. This is particularly focuses on participants who have installed data-based automation technologies.
Population decline in certain parts of South Korea has emerged as a significant issue, a problem that Samsung Electronics is prioritizing. It’s offering support to SMEs located in such risk regions. The company also aims to foster balanced regional development throughout the country. Samsung plans to create a special organization for helping SMEs. Specifically, these are the SMEs that lack adequate resources to manage environmental, social, and governance concerns.
Ministry of SMEs and Startup to supplement Samsung Electronics’ investment
To encourage the development of smart factories, South Korea’s Ministry of SMEs and Startups will provide subsidies to SMEs equivalent to Samsung’s investment. The government of the North Jeolla province will also heavily subsidize the cost of participating in the Smart Factory 3.0 project for businesses in 2023. In 2024, a separate independent smart factory will be introduced in North Jeolla, apart from Samsung Electronics.
Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business (KBIZ) is one of the prominent support organizations for small businesses in South Korea. The organization will oversee the Smart Factory 3.0 project. This organization will supervise the selection process for beneficiaries, carry out post-evaluations, and also ensure the project’s success.
Samsung Electronics has been actively sharing technology with SMEs since 2015. It has already provided 959 patents to 502 small businesses across the country. In April, Samsung Electronics partnered with the Korean government to once again transfer patent technologies.