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Canadian Smart Cities R&D Mission to South Korea

Request for expression of interest

Global Affairs Canada through the Embassy of Canada in Seoul and the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), would be pleased to receive your application to participate in the “Canadian Smart Cities R&D Mission to South Korea”, which will take place virtually from 1st to 10th of December 2021.

Please note that interested companies must apply no later than September 22, 2021 *extended*.

Mission objective

The R&D Mission will focus on introducing Canadian Small-to Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) to potential Korean partners for industrial R&D collaboration specific to Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) with applications in the smart city sector.

Examples of R&D collaboration include, but are not limited to the following:

Collaborative R&D projects (validation, adaptation, and/or co-development) between Canadian and Korean companies resulting from the Canadian Smart Cities R&D Mission to South Korea may be eligible for Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) funding. Please click the CIIP link for further details.

Canadian delegate profile

Canadian participants should meet the requirements below in order to benefit from this initiative:

Technology and products of particular interest for this mission include:

Mission description

The Canadian Smart City R&D Mission will take place virtually over a two-week period. Planned elements of the mission include:

With strong R&D expertise and capacity in these sectors, Canadian companies are well positioned to partner with leading Korean companies and R&D centres to increase their global competitiveness and access new markets. The mission will focus on introducing Canadian SMEs to potential Korean partners for industrial R&D collaboration.

Smart City development in South Korea

Over 90% of South Korea’s population (51.7 million people) is residing in cities that represent only 17% of the territory. By combining the country’s strengths in the ICT sector, the Korean government and municipalities have been building smart city infrastructure that improves the quality of urban life.

Before the COVID outbreak, discussions on smart cities largely focused on wellness rather than new and commercially viable business opportunities. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the country’s transition to an ICT-based, contact-less society. Smart city projects are now considered as a way not only to improve the quality of life in over-populated cities but also to help meet the challenges arising from COVID-19 and to make cities eco-friendlier.

In an effort to tackle the negative impact of the pandemic and prepare the country to succeed in the post-pandemic global environment, the Korean government announced the Korean New Deal in July 2020, which includes the Digital and Green new deals, with a budget of KRW 116 trillion ($ 134.7 billion) to be invested by 2025. Both the Digital and Green new deals include smart city projects. Given that ICT infrastructure that supports the New Deal objectives will be at the heart of the budget allocation, this mission will focus on technologies that enable Korean business to provide ICT services and/or products related to smart and green cities.

Cities such as Seoul (the country’s capital), Busan, Songdo and Sejong are moving ahead with developing and deploying smart city technologies. Korean companies are also actively exploring demonstration and market opportunities in other countries. Collaborating with Korean companies can help Canadian technology companies to access more commercial and innovation opportunities in the global markets.

How to apply for participation

  1. Interested SMEs should request an application form from Hyun Ju Lim (, Trade Commissioner at the Embassy of Canada in Seoul. A complete application form will be sent to you to request additional information on your company, your technology and your interest in discussing possible R&D opportunities.
  2. Completed application forms are due no later than September 22, 2021 *extended* to Hyun Ju Lim (
  3. The Embassy of Canada in Seoul and NRC IRAP will select companies to participate in the mission. Selected applicants can expect to be notified no later than September 30, 2021.

Please note: Participation is limited. Applications submitted will be assessed and vetted to determine Applicant eligibility based on the quality of the information provided in regards to the technology and the appropriateness of the technology for the target CIIP market.

Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)

Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in collaboration with the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) delivers the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) in South Korea. CIIP supports industrial R&D collaborations between Canadian SMEs and companies in key markets, including South Korea.

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