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South Korea, Europe to strengthen cooperation on 6G, chips research

by Marko Florentino
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This month’s meeting is the second held under the Digital Partnership launched in 2022.


South Korea and Europe will announce a joint semiconductor research forum at the EU-Korea Digital Partnership Council meeting in Brussels on 26 March, according to a draft document seen by Euronews.

The forum will connect European and Korean researchers and facilitate joint research projects. The two sides will also explore developing common ways to improve security and resilience of chips supply chains.

Semiconductors, microprocessors and other chips found in electronic devices are in high demand. South Korea is the world’s second largest semiconductor manufacturer, following Taiwan.

The EU’s Chips Act, implemented in 2023, is expected to bring a significant boost to the bloc’s domestic chip production, taking its global share to about 20% by 2030. In 2020, the EU’s share of the worldwide microchips market was about 10%. 

China is domestic production is likely to be dampened due to US sanctions, giving Europe an opportunity to ramp up its own production and plug the gap in the market.


The meeting, chaired by EU Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton and the Korean Minister for Science and ICT, Lee Jong-Ho, is the second under the Digital Partnership, announced in 2022. The aim is to improve cooperation in digital emerging technologies. 

Both sides also agreed to foster synergies in standardisation bodies on the basis of their common vision for 6G. The two sides will also launch a joint call for research proposals on topics targeting Radio Access Networks (RAN) and integrated device network approaches demonstrating 6G technology. The EU will invest some €3m, and Korea some €2m.

This project is expected to start at the end of 2024, and the third meeting of the Digital Partnership Council is planned to take place in the first half of 2025 in Seoul.

The EU concluded a first Digital Partnership in May 2022 with Japan, and a second in February last year with Singapore. The EU is also seeking cooperation with the US under the Trade and Technology Council (TTC), with the next meeting scheduled for early April in Belgium.

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