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GT NEWS | Center of Technology infomation for brighter future.

SK Group seeks new growth engine through stronger R&D Contents
title SK Group seeks new growth engine through stronger R&D
attachment date 2007-01-28 count 15608
- Expanding R&D investment on key growth engines; energy and IT
- R&D investment up by 66.7% year on year, exceeding 1 trillion for first time
- Focus on energy/chemical and next generation convergence service, new materials and life science
- Expanding infrastructure in research institute and human resources
- Reforming R&D committee to adopt business mindset from early stage of research

SK Group has announced its bold plan to reconstruct its 22 years of R&D by strengthening corporate R&D activities to develop future growth engine.

The focus of the group will be new technology development that will ensure future growth of the company and identify national growth driver amid economic uncertainties around stagnant market demand, foreign exchange and oil price. Based on key growth pillar of the group in energy/chemical and telecommunication, R&D investments will be expand to new product/technology in energy/chemical, next generation convergence telecommunication, new materials and bio science. Along with such effort, core research area will be prioritized, supported by stronger R&D resources and research infrastructure.

The major theme of the business this year has been, “evolution of global management.” As such, SK will focus on R&D to upgrade future growth engine and to build sustainability via R&D committee, which was set up in 1988 for first time in Korea with a purpose of inviting all CTO of SK subsidiaries. The committee will be a channel to build R&D synergy across the group to strong objective to create ‘practical, business-oriented output.’

As part of this effort, SK will expand and roll-out Research & Business Development (R&BD) system to consider commercialization from early research stages, going beyond pure R&D approach, and complete 10 synergy projects that the company is focusing its R&D capability on.

SK is investment 1 trillion won in R&D for the first time since its foundation to enhance R&D capability. This amount is over 14% of total 7 trillion won in CAPEX and over 3 times higher than 300 billion in 2003 and 600 billion in last year.

Research centers in Korea and overseas will expand from 6 sites in 2003 to 14 by this year. SK Corp. has SK Institute of Technology in Daedeok Complex in Korea, Shanghai Research Center and SK (Beijing) Road Science & Technology in China, and New Jersey Pharmaceutical Development Center in the US while SK Telecom plans to launch R&D Center in the US that will focus on next generation telecommunication technology.

Research organization will also expand from 1,500 researchers to over 2,000 researchers this year, with over 30 global researchers, compared to 20 last year, to be recruited to maximize synergy with research infrastructure.

Along with the group initiative to enhance R&D capability, “Separate but Together” R&D approach to subsidiaries will be taken this year.

Specifically, SK will focus on developing strategic, core technology such as ACO technologies to enter global market while taking “select & focus” approach to next generation technologies in new energy sector, e.g., HEVB system (hybrid electric vehicle battery system), hydrogen energy, and in information & electronics materials technologies, e.g., LiBS.

In life science, SK will operate over 15 research projects annually based on visible output from anti-depressant drugs & epllepsia treatment development and successful clinical test along with developing/manufacturing pharmaceutical intermediary using catalyst processing.
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