South Korean consumer appliance and electronics company LG Group has announced plans to invest a record 6.3 trillion won (US$5.57 billion) into research and development projects.
The funds will be invested over a three-year period to develop the North Chungcheong Province into a centre for the cosmetics, biotechnology, and energy industries.
The centre will enable the LG Group to strengthen its patent portfolio to reduce the risk of legal disputes with affiliate companies. The group plans to register an additional 24,000 patents and 1,600 patents from 16 government-funded research institutions in the so-called IP Support Zone.
To foster business growth in the region, LG Group plans to provide 3,000 of its patents to companies in North Chungcheong Province for free.
Moreover, LG will support small and medium-sized venture firms by raising a total of 150 billion won (US$137.59 million) in funds, and operate the Active Woman Business Centre to help women enter the workforce.
LG, North Chungcheong Province, the Financial Services Commission, and the Small and Medium Business Administration will jointly contribute the funds.