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Israel and South Korea cooperate to promote “deep tech”

Israel and South Korea cooperate to promote “deep tech”


Israel and South Korea have teamed up to establish an $80 million innovation fund to invest in cutting-edge startups from both countries.

The fund will allocate capital to 25-30 leading deep tech companies engaged in complex, lengthy research in hopes of disrupting technology. These companies typically operate in the fields of semiconductors, robotics, automotive, quantum computing, cybersecurity and digital health.

The new fund brings together the best of both countries: Israel is known as the Startup Nation for its innovative genius, while South Korea, with five times the population, is recognized as the place for startups to scale and achieve commercial success.

The new NH-OC Global Open Innovation Fund is already more than halfway to its $80 million goal, with $32 million from K-Growth, which handles most of South Korea's government investments, and $16 million from NH Venture Investment, the venture arm of Nonghyup Financial Group, one of South Korea's largest banks.

The South Korean government has chosen OurCrowd, a Jerusalem-based platform that connects 240,000 small investors with promising startups, to manage the fund in collaboration with NH Venture Investment.

The Innovation Fund will also foster cooperation between the two countries, which invest more in research and development as a percentage of GDP than any other country (Israel ranks first in this area, followed by South Korea in second).

“The establishment of the Israel-Korea Binational Fund with the support of the South Korean government is great news for Israel's tech industry,” said OurCrowd CEO John Medved.

South Korea is looking to Israeli innovation to position itself in the industries of the future that it aims to lead in the next decade and beyond.

OurCrowd CEO John Medved. Photo courtesy of OurCrowd

He said Israeli deep tech companies would gain direct access to South Korean industry giants, while South Korean startups would benefit from Israel's connections to leading venture capital investors and the international tech innovation ecosystem.

Kim Hyun-jin, CEO of NH Venture Investment, emphasized the importance of the deal.

K-Growth established the fund to help Korean companies expand globally through open innovation with global tech companies, including innovative Israeli companies, he said.

We look forward to unearthing Israeli innovation through OurCrowds' extensive Israeli and global network, and partnering with Korean tech startups through this fund to grow together.

The governments of Israel and South Korea have jointly invested $77 million in 196 bilateral technology projects in recent years, including $18 million in robotics and AI projects in 2023.

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