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Collaboration: The key to Korea’s Inventiveness

Collaboration: The Key to
Korea’s Inventiveness


5 minute read

South Korea’s widely lauded response to Covid-19 reinforced the nation’s thriving technology and innovation sector. In partnership with Bloomberg Media, Hyundai’s leadership continues to shine in a new four-part series exploring the automaker’s approach to innovation.

It is fair to say that everyone’s life has been affected due to Covid-19. The world has been brought to a near standstill and efforts to regain lost momentum continue, with everyone’s future still uncertain. One country to offer a beacon of hope has been South Korea, with an impressive response to the pandemic all but nullifying the virus.

South Korea’s response was swift and effective. Broad testing availability set the stage for success as the country pioneered drive-thru testing with facilities spread across the country.
What started as an idea inspired by a regional office of the National Medical Center,
developed into a system of agile response units, including walk-in testing units at underutilized airports.
The government acted quickly, knowing mass testing was key to controlling the virus, as widespread data collection enabled the effective contact tracing of individuals who were infected.

Lost momentum

This wasn’t by chance, the backbone of the country’s successful response was built upon
a set of deeply embedded values of sharing resources, creativity, collaborating on ideas, and being fast to market with solutions - many values which have been shaped during recent years of explosive growth.


One catalyst for this surge in Korean prosperity was Hyundai,
a company founded on a vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’,
with a desire for better that truly resonated with the nation.

A catalyst for change

One catalyst for this surge in Korean prosperity was Hyundai, a company founded on a vision of ‘Progress for Humanity’, with a desire for better that truly resonated with the nation. Today this message rings true at a global level, and along with the organization’s deep sense of commitment to do the right thing, allow the big brands to act with humility.

A catalyst for change

Such a human-centric approach to business has meant that Hyundai’s spirit of progress has enabled a culture of open innovation instead of a closed one. Open innovation encourages an exchange of ideas from internal to external and vice-versa, thus acknowledging that developing future mobility solutions can come from many business verticals and even from an outside source.

This collaborative approach ensures that Hyundai will continue to evolve as it invents solutions to the world’s biggest problems.

Human centric

Hyundai’s Center for Robotics Augmented-Design in Living Experience. (CRADLE)

Creating the Future

“Often innovation is a matter of life and death,” expressed Yunseong Hwang, VP & Head, Open Innovation Investment and CRADLE. CRADLE stands for the Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences and is home to some of Hyundai’s most important future mobility collaborations in fields such as AI and smart technology, with innovation hubs in Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Beijing and Seoul.

“Now, CRADLE is capable of carrying out strategic partnerships and investments with other companies and firms, while sharing knowledge and working closely with local innovation eco-systems,” continued Hwang. "Not only do we want to enhance the lives of our Hyundai customers, but we also value the ability to improve living experiences for everyone. Our focus is to develop new innovations and futuristic technologies. This process begins by communicating with local startup ecosystems, then we search and invest in startups that have great ideas and bring those ideas to fruition. Ultimately, those startups are the ones creating the future."

Creating the future

One such startup is a Swiss company specializing in hydrogen storage through the use of better hydride technology. Investing in such areas of innovation is vital for Hyundai if they are to achieve their vision of creating a cleaner and safer future for everyone.

It is this long-term approach to innovation that allows for a vision of a more connected and sustainable world. The continued proactive approach of CRADLE and a wider innovation mindset within Hyundai delivers progress for individuals as well as collective benefits for the wider society.

Hydrogen storage

To understand more about CRADLE and their investments in innovation, Bloomberg and Hyundai have produced a mini-series exploring the automaker’s approach to innovation.

In the upcoming K-System series, episode 1 talks about Hyundai’s push for open innovation, explaining why investing in startups is crucial to moving the world forward, now and into the future.


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