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Hanwha to invest in environment ventures

Posted July. 10, 2000 17:19,   


The Hanwha Group embarks upon an environment-related venture incubating business for the first time among local large conglomerates.

Since the environment industry is regarded as one of highest value-added future businesses, it is garnering attention whether the business group¡¯s movement would give rise to an environment venture business boom, following the boom of ¡°dot com (internet venture)¡± and bio venture businesses.

Hanwha signed a business agreement with the Korea Environment Venture Association (KEVA) for joint investment into the sector on July 10th at Plaza Hotel in downtown Seoul. KEVA currently holds 102 local environment-related venture firms, such as Eco Solution and GeoTech.

Hanwha plans to raise 1 billion won to foster environment-dedicated venture firms and spend the fund in facilitating research and development activities of KEVA member companies, encouraging early commercialization of new technologies. Furthermore, depending on the outcome of initial investments, it will invest an additional 10 billion won.

Once KEVA recommends potential candidates with superior technologies, Hanwha will decide on its investment for them after feasibility study.

In addition, Hanwha will proceed with joint research activities with the selected venture firms, utilizing its own R&D capability and infrastructure.

With the agreement of this day as momentum, KEVA will undertake analyzing fund requirements of its member companies and soon will outline a concrete supporting program.

¡°To commemorate the 10th year of introducing environment management, we decided to invest in environment venture incubating business in full scale,¡± said Kim Hyun-Jung, president of Hanwha Corp.¡¯s construction division. ¡°Unlike the venture investment by financial institutions including venture capital firms, we will concentrate investment only on the venture businesses that will bring about synergy effects, thus contributing to nurture the environment industry,¡± he added.

Adopting the ¡®environment management¡¯ as a company motto 10 years ago, Hanwha has put priority to environment matters in its consideration. This day¡¯s agreement with KEVA is regarded as the company¡¯s first attempt to reap profits in earnest through the environment businesses.

Market experts are analyzing that the level of the nation¡¯s environment-related technologies stays merely at the 30%-to-60% level of the advanced countries. According to KEVA, Ministry of Environment last year spent 28.5 billion won in R&D for environment technologies, accounting only for 0.9% of the government¡¯s total R&D investment. Even so, the ministry¡¯s investment has been concentrated merely on the basic science, far from lucrativeness.

Under the circumstances, KEVA was established to grope for joint technology development, recognizing the fact that technology development by individual companies has some limits.