Networking‘Korean Digital New Deal’ Innovates National Defense

The Born2Global Centre released an article that highlights the Korean Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT)’s Korean Digital New Deal. As part of the Korean government MSIT, Born2Global Centre has played a crucial role by connecting Korean startups with various opportunities worldwide.

The Korean government strives to bring the benefits of the Korean Digital New Deal, a national strategy to revitalize the economy in times of COVID-19, into the defense sector. The aim is to implement “smart defense” and a “digitally empowered military.”

To this end, the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of National Defense are joining forces to conduct a variety of Digital New Deal projects that aim to promote digital transformation across the defense field.

First, the ministries plan to establish the National Defense ICT Support Group that will perform systematic research and development (R&D) on defense-related information and communications technology (ICT), with the aim of innovating military operations and strength.

Being launched within the Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation (IITP), a national defense-related R&D firm, the ICT Support Group consists of experts in strategies, planning, and evaluation. They will devise R&D strategies and technology roadmaps, identify and plan business opportunities, and manage and support upcoming projects.

Cutting-edge technologies, including data, network, and artificial intelligence (AI), will be applied to the entire defense area. The ministries will focus on identifying and developing high demand technologies in both the military and the public sector and manage the entire circle of the R&D process.

The existing military-broadband convergence network (M-BcN) will be enhanced, while commercial 5G networks will be used in the defense system.  In addition, the ministries will strengthen the existing integrated defense data center by putting high performance computing and machine learning technology in place to perform systematic collection and management of military-related data.

Customized Online Technology Training

Starting in 2022, the ministries will foster technological talents across the military by providing soldiers with online courses on AI and software (SW). The aim is to produce 50,000 professionals eligible for future industries and more than 1,000 AI experts by 2026.

During their military service period, soldiers will be given 15-month online training courses on AI and SW. Using an online platform, they will learn coding and have one-on-one sessions with experts who will give them feedback on their work. The military servicemen and women will also have a chance to participate in AI-specialized courses run by professionals from industries, academics, and research institutions.

In particular, the participants are allowed to select courses tailored to their individual level of knowledge. Those who complete a course and pass an evaluation test will receive a certificate. To help the soldiers pursue a post-military career, the ministries will continue to provide those discharged from military duty with intensive training courses designed to help them start a business or look for a relevant job.

Soldiers Leading the Digital Era

The educational project, set to kick off next year, already garners interest from military personnel. According to a survey, many soldiers consider the educational courses as a great perk that will help their future careers by enhancing their technological skills and knowledge. More than 60 percent of the respondents said that they are willing to take the programs when they become available next year.

On October 26, the ministries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and launched a training operation division to expedite the implementation of the project.

The division of more than 20 members — academic professionals, military personnel, and their families — will perform various tasks to maximize the benefits of the project for the military.  For example, they will set up yearly action plans and strategies on how to implement the courses, monitor the status of the programs, and collect opinions from experts from various sectors.

The government hopes that the project will help military servicemen and women strengthen skills required in future industries, enhance national readiness with the Intelligent AI Forces armed with high technology prowess, and make Korea an AI leader on par with the world’s tech powers.

“The military can serve as a test bed for cutting-edge technologies developed in the private sector. The military can also contribute greatly to the success of the Korean Digital New Deal as it is where we can identify early-stage markets and foster young talents,” said the science ministry. “We believe that next year’s AI and SW education project will play a crucial role in helping young men and women better prepare for the future in the digital transformation era that we live in,” it added.


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