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South Korea is planning to become a metaverse hub by 2026. Within the five-year metaverse development roadmap, the country aims to activate the ecosystem for metaverse platforms, nurture professionals, and foster companies.
South Korea has announced the launch of a fund dedicated to supporting metaverse projects. According to the Ministry of Science and ICT of South Korea, the government has invested as much as 27.7 billion Korean won ($21 million) into local services looking to utilize the metaverse. This fund will be used to foster 13 new projects that are exploring the integration of virtual worlds in the healthcare, tourism, and education sectors. The news follows the announcement made by the South Korean government on Tuesday about investing 40 billion Korean won ($30 million) to fund smaller businesses developing metaverse-related projects.
South Korea believes in the potential of the metaverse, and its dedicated fund is one of the latest initiatives of the country in this direction. Since 2021, South Korea has been exploring the metaverse, with its Science Ministry defining the metaverse as a space where virtual and physical reality converges so that people or objects can interact, and create economic, social and cultural value.
Tech journalist Nina Xiang stated:
“South Korea stands as the most aggressive and determined government in pushing the development of the metaverse. Other Asian countries don’t have similar types of metaverse programs in both scale and scope as that of the South Korean government.”
In January this year, South Korea announced work on Metaverse Seoul, a virtual replica of its capital. The South Korean government spent about 2 billion won ($1.6 million) for the first phase of the project which includes increasing efficiency in public administration services. In particular, within the first phase, services such as issuing proof of citizenship, tax counselling, youth mentoring, and a support center for struggling businesses are provided. The second stage will expand the services to real estate counselling and connecting foreign investors with local industries. The key goals of the project include making it easier for citizens to connect with government services by eliminating the constraints of time, space, and language, as well as exploring new ways to improve user experience and satisfaction. The project is expected to be completed by 2026.
In addition, in February, South Korea announced plans to invest about $187 million to develop its metaverse ecosystem, fund metaverse projects, and give out grants to universities and companies to help expand their technologies.
South Korea’s Metaverse Ambitions
Earlier, we reported about the country’s plan to become the metaverse hub with the fifth-largest metaverse market in the world by 2026. Within the five-year metaverse development roadmap, South Korea aims to activate the ecosystem for metaverse platforms, nurture professionals, and foster companies. In addition, the country is planning to create a safe environment for all metaverse users. The first step will be the employment of at least 220 metaverse companies whose sales volumes total more than $4.2 million. Next, the government will establish a “metaverse academy” that will nurture 40,000 local experts by 2026.