R&D Platform for Investment and Evaluation (“R&D PIE”)

The Government of Korea is beginning to implement a new innovation investment model, 'R&D PIE', which leverages big data analytics and machine learning in order to assess disruptive changes in the technology landscape, and to identify overlaps and potential opportunities across the Korean ministries. Through this, the government has a way of identifying missing links in the innovation initiatives, fostering collaboration among agencies, universities, and companies, and solving social problems.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Technological innovation is a key to national growth and prosperity. Recent advancements in artificial intelligence and cyber-physical systems are accelerating technological and industrial transformation across multiple sectors. In response to fast-changing technological landscape, many governments are allocating their resources to research and development programs, based on policies that maximize each country’s innovative capacities. In Korea, government funding for research and development has been growing steadily. Yet, the increase in investments has not fully contributed to innovative outputs. The fast-follower innovation strategy that propelled Korea’s success has reached its limit.

It is in this context that the Government of Korea designed a new R&D investment and budgeting model. Ministry of Science and ICT has identified three key problems to existing innovation funding policies:

Research and Development programs are fragmented among 14 different ministries and agencies, and information sharing is limited from the planning stage.
Basic, fundamental research is not connected to later stages of applied and commercial research and development.
There are inadequate considerations for regulatory barriers at the development stages. Furthermore, the feedback cycle between evaluation and funding is often misguided.
In order to address these issues, the Government of Korea piloted a new investment process, the Research and Development Platform for Investment and Evaluation(R&D PIE), in order to put the national RD system on a sustainable innovative path. The PIE system is built for each strategic technology sectors and is based on big data analytics of academic research, patent analysis, economic impact, and market information. During the planning stage, PIE system provides a basis for public-private partnerships and consortium building, as well as inter-agency efforts in combining agency resources for cross-sector innovation. The system enables ‘fast-track’ implementation of multi-stakeholder research agenda formation and streamlines bureaucratic procedures coupled with large government programs. At the investment stages, PIE system interconnects individual research projects with relevant national and sector policies and relevant human resource planning for enhancing feasibility and success of national initiatives. At the evaluation level, the system aims to accelerate feedback process, so the programs and projects could change course in real time, instead of going through bureaucratic processes.

Started as a conceptual framework in April 2017, the PIE model was approved for development by Minister Yongmin Yu in June. More than 300 academic, industry, and technical experts participated to develop the model. In January 2018, we came up with four models — Autonomous Vehicle, Precision Medicine, High-Performance Drones, and Air-Pollution Mitigation. In March 2018, We added an additional four models — Smart Farm, Smart Grid, Intelligent Robot, and Smart City. Currently, we are building models for Artificial Intelligence and Alternative Energy.

The model was recognized as one of the best policies of the Ministry, and, on February 2018, the R&D Investment Innovation Plan, based on the model was approved by the Economic Ministers Meeting chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister for Economics. 2018 fiscal year budget of 250 billion KRW was allocated using the model, and, for the 2019 fiscal year budget, 800 billion KRW is in the process of National Assembly approval.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

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  1. Dear Mr. Cho,
    I am very much interested in Korea’s innovative R&D PIE platform. Unfortunately, apart from this article there is hardly any further information available in english. Do you happen to have any further material in english? This would be extremely useful for my research on AI-applications in the German R&D sphere.

    Thank you in advance!
    Maurits Schulze

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Year: 2018
Level of government: National/Federal government


  • Diffusing Lessons - using what was learnt to inform other projects and understanding how the innovation can be applied in other ways

Innovation provided by:


  • 2018.8(1) Video Clip on the basic mechanism of the R&D Platform.

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