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Promotion overview

Since 2000, the photonics industry has been fostered in terms of regional strategic industry promotion, and an international photonics industry cluster has been developed in which industry, academia, and research functions are integrated around the High-Tech Scientific Industrial Complex.

  • Support for fostering regional strategic industry (2000~2012, 844.7 billion KRW) 
  • 1st Stage (2000~2003, 402 billion KRW): Building an infrastructure-oriented integrated complex 
    • Establishment of Korea Photonics Technology Institute, Optical communication component test system, R&D equipment, etc.
  • 2nd Stage (2004~2008, 386.3 billion KRW): Support for commercialization of specialized fields (optical communication, LED)
    • 18 projects including semiconductor light source test production support, optical communication component prototype production support, optical component test and certification base, manpower training, overseas marketing, etc.
  • 3rd Stage (2009~2012, 56.4 billion KRW): Fostering next-generation optical-based convergence industry 
    • Five projects including building next generation optical-based infrastructure, technology development, global marketing, and manpower training
  • Support for leading industries in the Honam metropolitan economy (2009~2015, 124.4 billion KRW) 
  • 1st Stage (June 2009~Apr. 2012 49.4 billion KRW): Leading and globalizing the convergence parts and materials industry based on environment-friendly optical technology  
    • 24 projects, participation of 75 companies and organizations, nationwide highest grade performance from 1st stage project evaluation
  • 2nd Stage (May 2012~Apr. 2015 75 billion KRW in the middle of support): Optical convergence industry (optical parts and systems, new optical source lighting) as flagship industry, selecting solar photovoltaic power (material) field as future growth industry, launching various optical convergence technology development
    • 1st year (June 2012~Apr. 2013): Optical convergence (optical parts and systems, new optical source lighting) 16.6 billion KRW, solar power 8.3 billion KRW investment, 30 tasks in optical convergence field, 7 tasks in the solar power field
Support Performance
The photonics industry is solidly established as one of the region’s three flagship industries, behind automobiles and home appliances.

(Unit: 100 million KRW, persons, each companies, %) 

The photonics industry is solidly established as one of the region’s three flagship industries, behind automobiles and home appliances.
Classification 1999
(Before support)
(Completion of 1st Stage)
(Completion of 2nd Stage)
(Completion of 3rd Stage)
2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Sales Amount
(100 million KRW)
1,136 3,234 13,079 25,904 27,105 23,626 22,507 21,471 22,705 23,005
1,896 2,834 6,018 8,242 8,445 6,799 6,925 7,133 7,513 7,584
Number of companies
47 190 327 360 360 306 288 273 276 280
Emerging as an international photonics industry cluster through the establishment of research and support infrastructure and reinforcement of corporate support service
Technology Infrastructure
  • Integration of national photonics industry development initiatives such as Korea Photonics Technology Institute, Advanced Photonics Research Institute, Korea Electronics Technology Institute, Seonam Regional Division of KITECH, Honam Research Center of ETRI, Korea Association For Photonics Industry Development
Human Infrastructure
  • Specialized professional personnel (over 580 people) from optical research institutes such as Korea Photonics Technology Institute
  • Establishment of manpower training system from graduate schools and technical high schools for manpower and major engineering departments to produce operational manpower
Land Infrastructure: Photonics industry integration complex (260,000㎡) and LED Valley (310,000㎡) were created to integrate 300 companies.
A success among local industry promotion projects
  • May 2004: Announced as a success case among four major regional industry promotion projects (Gwangju photonics, Daegu textiles, Busan shoes, Gyeongnam machinery) by the Board of Audit and Inspection
  • Feb. 2006: Grand Prize in 2005 Regional Industrial Policy Evaluation organized by the Korea Institute for Industrial Policy Studies and the Chosun Ilbo
  • Aug. 2011: Report titled "The Success Factors and Implications of Regional Innovation Clusters" by the Ministry of Economy and Finance evaluates Gwangju's photonics industry cluster as a representative success story that has been promoted with the initiative of development in the provinces.
  • Sep. 2011: Awarded Grand Presidential Prize for successful implementation of photonics industry cluster promotion policy at “Regional Development Week” event.
  • Nov. 2012: Graded "excellent" in analysis of the economic development effects of local industries, in that the provincial government took the initiative in establishing a promotion plan and selected differentiated industries from other regions to avoid competition for location and concentrated on its policy capabilities.
Emphasis Promotion Policy
Foster optical-based convergence industry and optical-based new growth engine industry
  • Develop optical-based convergence technology, including optical application sensors and telecommunication systems, optical fusion components and devices, general/industrial lighting, convergence and complex lighting, and material-oriented solar energy industry through leading industries in the greater Honam economic region. 
  • Promote product commercialization and strengthen corporate support services by fostering 3D convergence industry in the optical sector as a new growth engine industry.
Advancement in optical communication, LED, etc flagship field
  • LED convergence industry hub construction project, LED lighting demonstration complex creation and operation, LED optical device grand consortium, LED system lighting technology development, local industry-based IT convergence technology production support base, etc.
Discovery and development of next-generation promising fields (ultra-precision optics, laser, OLED, etc.)
  • Infrared optical lens technology development and industrialization support, infrared optical lens chalcogenide glass development for night-vision camera, industrial laser core parts and module technical support foundation establishment, OLED lighting promotion business, etc.
Advance Corporate Support
  • Photonics industry technology improvement project, field-tailored professional training, domestic and overseas testing and certification reinforcement and support, optical convergence technology commercialization support, international photonics industry exhibitions, LED lighting demonstration and standardization activities expansion, photonics industry joint brand competitiveness reinforcement project, etc.