In June 2023, the government announced Korea’s National Quantum Strategy to ensure the growth of quantum science and technology and to contribute to the global quantum ecosystem.

Key Indicators

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Korea has classified quantum science and technology as one of the 12 National Strategic Technologies and incorporated it into the 15 Projects of the New Growth 4.0 Strategy. Korea strives to reduce the disparity with other developed countries by focusing on enhancing its workforce and significantly increasing funding.

The government is actively promoting the establishment of intensive quantum development zones, where government-funded research institutes, leading universities, companies, and a global quantum workforce network can collaborate to conduct research and development, workforce development, startup growth, and other initiatives.

Moreover, Korea enacted a Quantum Science and Technology Development and Industry Promotion Act in May 2023. This act incorporates various approaches to advance quantum science and technology, such as supporting research and industry growth, nurturing technological innovation, encouraging commercialization, developing the workforce, establishing research centers and clusters, and promoting international collaboration. Once passed, this act would provide a framework for defining the direction of support for quantum science and technology in Korea, and the duties and responsibilities of government ministries and implementation strategies. In addition, methods will be implemented to monitor and evaluate the results of these initiatives and provide feedback.

Through the development of a vision and strategy for quantum science and technology in Korea by 2035, we intend to contribute to the nation’s advancement toward becoming a more equitable, secure, and prosperous nation.

1. Technology Level:

a. Korea plans to launch a Quantum Science and Technology Flagship Project with clear technology objectives by 2031.

b. Korea focuses on developing and establishing systems for universal quantum computers based on superconducting technology with 1,000 qubits.

c. We will acquire fundamental quantum network technologies, such as quantum memory, quantum repeaters, and quantum satellite communication technology, which will substantially impact industry and security. Additionally, we will demonstrate a quantum network based on quantum entanglement that spans over 100 km between cities.

d. Korea, in the early stage of commercializing wired quantum cryptography communication, will make a concerted effort to improve this technology’s performance, transmission speed, and distance. The ultimate goal is to achieve nationwide-scale wired quantum cryptography communication without the need for repeaters, which will cover distances exceeding 500 km.

e. The government will devise a national-level master plan for the post-quantum cryptography transition by the end of the year to address the threat of the collapse of current encryption systems as a result of the development of high-performance quantum computers.

f. The government will create a testbed environment that will enable private companies to evaluate the safety and performance of post-quantum cryptography which is integrated into their products. This will bolster the practical implementation of the technology.

2. Key Workforce:

a. By 2035, concentrate on nurturing 2,500 key quantum workforces in quantum science and technology.

3. Quantum Workforce:

a. Korea intends to acquire roughly 10,000 quantum workforces by 2035, including researchers, HW/SW/system engineers, and manufacturing and application specialists.

b. Korea will assist in the implementation of early quantum education initiatives, allowing children in gifted schools and scientific high schools to choose to pursue advanced coursework in the field of quantum science and technology. This will enable them to develop into a highly skilled quantum workforce.

4. Quantum Market Share:

a. Based on Mind Commerce’s 2022 data, Korea shares 1.8%, which is 10th place in the world. We will increase the market share to 10% in 2035.

b. The Korean government is pursuing increased international cooperation with governments and industry partners in major quantum countries around the world, including the United States and the E.U., to increase national competitiveness in quantum science and technology and create synergies between countries.

c. Korea is engaged in international forums and bilateral and multilateral discussions to foster strategic and diplomatic collaboration with the foremost quantum nations in quantum science and technology.

5. Quantum Technology Supplying and Enabling Companies:

a. Korea is aggressively finding potential startups in emerging industrial areas based on quantum science and technology through the Outstanding Startup 1000+ Project and other technology-based venture assistance initiatives.

6. Global Workforce:

a. Korea aims to establish a worldwide technological exchange channel by offering possibilities for international assignments and exchanges to roughly 500 quantum workforces by 2035.

7. International Cooperation & Investment:

a. Korea will encourage cooperation research with top quantum scientific and technology countries, as well as enhance possibilities for novice researchers to study abroad and participate in collaborative research.

b. Through the Defense Science and Technology Innovation Basic Plan, the Korean government recognized quantum science and technology as defense strategic technology and increased investment in quantum science and technology sectors to prepare for current dangers and future battles.

c. The Korean government is striving to foster international collaboration with governments and industry partners in important quantum nations across the world to increase national competitiveness in quantum science and technology and establish cross-national synergies. The government is establishing comprehensive policies for investing in and researching quantum science and technology, which is still in its early stages on a worldwide scale.

d. The government plans to invest 210 billion KRW in international cooperation in the quantum field by 2035 to improve quantum science and technology competitiveness and create synergy.

e. A 1.5 trillion KRW innovative growth fund will be established over the next five years to promote the formation and expansion of SMEs and startups in 15 creative development industries, including quantum technology.

f. In 2019, Korea made the first investment of 10.6 billion KRW in quantum science and technology, which had previously concentrated on basic research. By 2023, this investment had grown to about 96.8 billion KRW, more than nine times the initial amount.

g. By 2035, the Korean government and private sectors will have invested over 3 trillion KRW in quantum research and technology, as well as the transition to a quantum economy.