Gwangju, the shining city.

Promotion overview

Since 2000, the optical industry has been nurtured in terms of regional strategic industry promotion, and an international optical industry cluster has been formed where industry, academia, and research functions are concentrated centering around the Cheomdan Scientific Industry Complex.

  • Support for fostering regional strategic industry (2000-2021, 1,220.8 Billion KRW)
Results of Support
  • As a result of supporting leading and star companies, there was huge growth with the number of optical convergence industry companies with sales of more than 10 billion KRW reaching 30 companies, 6 KOSDAQ- and KONEX-listed companies, and 2 companies listed in the “World Class 300” in 2021.
  • Designation and attraction of optical convergence promotion agencies and specialized research institutes (Jan. 2020, Korea Association for Photonics Industry Development/Korea Photonics Technology Institute), and the establishment and announcement of a mid- to long-term technology roadmap for optical convergence (Jan. 2021, Ministry of Industry) based on the Enactment of the Optical Convergence Technology Development and Infrastructure Support Act (Sept. 2018) and the Comprehensive Development Plan for Optical Convergence Technology (Dec. 2019).
Results of Support
Category 1999 (Before Promotion) 2003 (After 1st Step) 2008 (After 2nd Step) 2012 (After 3rd Step) 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
No. of Companies 47 190 327 360 276 280 297 305 310
(In hundred million KRW)
1,136 3,234 13,079 25,904 22,705 23,005 27,182 31,454 27,356
Employees 1,896 2,834 6,018 8,242 7,513 7,584 8,044 8,128 8,104
Companies with sales of 10 billion KRW or more - - - - 24 27 36 29 30
Technology Infrastructure
  • Concentration of driving agencies of national optical convergence industry development, such as Korea Photonics Technology Institute, Korea Electronics Technology Institute, Honam Branch of Korea Academy of Industrial Technology, Honam Center of ETRI, and Korea Association for Photonics Industry Development.
Land Infrastructure
  • Organization of Optical Convergence Industry Cluster Complex (260,000㎡) and LED Valley (310,000㎡)
Evaluated as a Successful Case of Regional Industry Promotion Project
  • May. 2004: Announced as one of the four regional industry promotion projects (Gwangju – optical, Daegu – textile, Busan – shoes, Gyeongnam – machinery) during the audit by the Board of Audit and Inspection.
  • Feb. 2006: Awarded the Grand Prize for Regional Industrial Policy Assessment 2005, jointly hosted by the Institute for Industrial Policy Studies and the Chosun Ilbo.
  • Aug. 2011: Ministry of Economy and Finance evaluated Gwangju’s optical convergence industry cluster as a exemplary success case carried out under the development initiative of a local government through the report entitled “Success Factors of a Regional Innovation Custer and Implications.”
  • Sept. 2011: Awarded the Presidential Award,which is the grad prize for the successful promotion of an optical industry cluster fostering policy at the Regional Development Week Event.
  • Nov. 2012: As a result of the analysis of the economic development effect of local industries, Gwangju was evaluated as “excellent” for establishing a support plan under the initiative of a local government and focusing policy capabilities while avoiding competition for location by selecting an industry that was differentiated from other regions.
Promotional Policy Focus
  • Promotion of optical semiconductor development technology and supporting industries
    • Securing high-performance light sources for ultra-precision and ultra-high-speed performance realization, which are expected to be unstable in supply and demand as core technology for optical convergence, and securing parts and modules manufacturing technologies.
    • Promoting technology development that can solve industrial difficulties based on optical technology and generate results for a second leap forward in the optical industry.
  • Discovering and fostering promising next-generation fields (ultra-precision optics, advancement in optical communication technology, LED display industry, etc.)
    • Support for industrialization of micro-LED displays, support for industrialization of optical materials for camera lens, support for advancement of flat-panel optical waveguide-based industry, establishment of infrastructure for commercialization of MEMS-based high-value-added optical semiconductors, etc.
  • Advancement of Corporate Support
    • Strengthening and supporting domestic and international tests and certifications, fostering the optical medical industry, supporting the development of hidden champions in the optical convergence industry, hosting international optical convergence industry exhibitions, promoting support projects to enhance global optical convergence business competitiveness, etc.