Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Shipbuilding integrated with IT

South Korean government and shipbuilding companies plan to collaborate in integrating information technology into shipbuilding industry and run away from China further, which aims to catch up with Korea by 2015.

The government and shipbuilders would cooperate to construct high-value vessels by tapping into the country's advanced IT industry.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) announced on March 26 that it selected shipbuilding industry as the next 'Innovative center', after automobile, construction and fiber.

Based on the innovative center, small-and-medium sized IT companies would develop and produce necessary IT equipment for high-value vessels.

MKE had Hyundai Heavy Industries supervise Shipbuilding-IT collaboration innovative center.

An official from MKE said, "Shipbuilding industry has a great impact on other industries."

Shipbuilding has been Korea's one of major export-driven industries, however, it faces shrinking orderings due to depression in global economy.

After global financial crisis in 2008, China took the first place from Korea in global market share. In 2011, Korea took back the place, however, it seems still unsteady.

Chinese government fully supports its shipbuilding industry with a goal to overtake Korea by 2015. Also, Chinese yards now have entered into Korea's major high-value vessel sectors, such as ultra-large boxship, LNG carrier, etc.

With its low labor costs, Chinese shipbuilders offer low newbuilding price as well. Moreover, as Japan cooperates with China in marine equipment, China gets hands on technology.

Therefore, South Korean government is to shift core competitiveness in shipbuilding industry into IT. With a differentiated high-end IT technology, Korea makes sure of maintaining world top. Global ship IT market would grow from $12.3bn in 2008 to $19.5bn in 2018.

During the next five to ten years, shipbuilding-IT collaboration would become a trend.

Published : March 28, 2012

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