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FKCCI Innovation Committee explores opportunities between France and Korea in aerospace

Mr. Kevin CHOI, Chief Technology Officer at KTsat

On July. 6, the FKCCI hosted a special edition of its Innovation Committee on Korea in the global competition for space exploration.

On July. 6, the French Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosted a special edition of its Innovation Committee on Korea in the global competition for space exploration, gathering key French and Korean industry leaders such as KTsat, Thales, Airbus or Safran. 

After an introduction from Mr. David-Pierre JALICON, Chairman of FKCCI, from H.E. Mr. Philippe LEFORT, Ambassador of France to Korea, and from Mr. Philippe LI, Honorary Chairman of FKCCI and Head of the Innovation Committee, Mr. Kevin CHOI, Chief Technology Officer at KTsat, opened the session with an overview of the different actors and projects in the satellite and space industry and by explaining where Korea stands in this ecosystem. Mr. CHOI emphasised the concepts of “Old Space” and “New Space”: he explained that Old Space refers to the concept of space exploration led by governments in opposition with the New Space that refers to the commercialisation phase by private companies (Space X, Blue Origins, Virgin Galactic,…) which are increasingly leading trends in the aerospace sector. 

Mr. Soojong KIM, CEO and founder of Innospace, an aerospace manufacturing company, pressed on this new space era with a focus on where Korea stands especially in the rocket launching service. He explained the growing interest of the country in space exploration through several projects conducted by the Korean government, but also by major Korean companies, such as Hanwha or Hyundai, and by Korean startups, such as Innospace and Perigee Aerospace.  

The floor then went to the CEO and founder of Contec, Mr. Sunghee LEE, where he detailed the skyrocketing number of satellites launches from about 2,300 between 2009 and 2018 to an expected 9,900 between 2019 and 2028. In this context, Contec positions itself as a space ground station data receiving and processing service and as a developer of technology for satellite image (SI) processing and SI application services.  

The last presentation was led by Mr. Sunguk HONG, Business Development Director at Chung Buk Free Economic Zone (CBfez), FKCCI’s partner in the organisation of this Innovation Committee. Mr. HONG kicked off with an overview of the global trends in aerospace and defence industry and continued on the positioning of the Korean government in this industry. Indeed, the country’s budget on aerospace and defence went from KRW 26.4 Tn in 2008 to KRW 52.8 Tn in 2021 while focusing on infrastructure, aerospace, R&D and future air mobility. He concluded his presentation by showing the attractiveness of the Cheongju Aeropolis thanks to its strategic location near major universities as well as the Cheongju International Airport but also thanks to incentive packages for foreign companies who would want to settle in the CBfez.  

Mr. Kevin CHOI closed this Innovation Committee by reminding the audience that “the strength of French ideas and its innovative mind is complemented by the highly qualified manufacturing capabilities of South Korea.” 

France and Korea have indeed been collaborating in the aerospace industry for more than 30 years with key players such as Hanwha Aerospace, KAI, Arianespace and CNES working on satellites and launching rockets. The two countries work together for example on R&D for the Korea Space Launch Vehicle 2. As France is a stronghold of aerospace industry and Korea is a relatively newcomer in the sector looking for new partners, FKCCI Innovation committee was the ideal platform to discuss possible synergies. 


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