July 07, 2023

KIPO awards Innovator of the Year at the 58th Invention Day Ceremony

- The Gold Tower Order Of Industrial Service Merit awards 80 inventors including President Roh Tae-moon of Samsung Electronics -

The Korean Intellectual Property Office hosted a celebration of the 58th Invention Day on May 12, 2023 at the Coex Auditorium in Seoul. This year's slogan, "Dream the future with free imagination," signifies the intention to encourage inventors who dedicated themselves in industries and R&D research and hope for the ROK's future developed through the free imagination of future generation.

Invention Day was first designated in 1957 as a national day to commemorate the world's first rain gauge (called a cheug-ugi 測雨器 in Korean) recorded to be invented in May 19, 1441. Since then, an event has been held to spread the importance of inventions and award inventors who contributed to the development of national industries.

Senior Researcher Lee Sung-guk of LG Innotek was chosen as the "Innovator of the Year" for his technology improving industrial competitiveness of the electronic parts sector and enhancing the national reputation. Prior to his contribution, cameras in smartphones had a digital zoom-in function that simply expanded digital images with high magnification, which led to reduced image quality. The actuator developed by Senior Researcher Lee is a core part of a smartphone camera that achieves the high image quality of DSLR cameras with an optical cascade method in which the lens itself moves at high magnification to expand the object.

The highest merit of "Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit" was presented to President Roh Tae-moon of Samsung Electronics recognizing his efforts for the world's first commercialization of 5G network-based smartphones and foldable smartphones as well as maintaining Samsung Electronics as a global leader in the smartphone industry for several years, thus contributing to the ROK's industrial development.

The "Silver Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit" was presented to CEO Ku Kap-ryeol of Senic Co., Ltd. and CEO Kim Kyung-dong of Allink Co., Ltd. for their work contributing to Korea's technological and industrial competitiveness. CEO Ku successfully domestically producing technology of silicon carbide (SiC), a material for power semiconductor panels, and CEO Kim developed contactless near-field communication (NFC) that allows data transfer between electronic devices with a single touch.

Lastly, the "Bronze Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit" was awarded to CEO Lee Hye-jin of Noriand Co., Ltd. and Senior Researcher Joo Jung-hong of Hyundai Motor. CEO Lee developed a logistics tracking and management system linked with bio-signals (i.e., fingerprints) and a information bar-code reader that can be worn as a ring or necklace, thus contributing to logistics management efficiency. Senior Researcher Joo Jung-hong developed the world's first 400V/800V multi-quick charging system and V2L that uses a two-way charger, contributing to the development of Korea's technological competitiveness in the field of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, an invention gallery showcased the inventions of youth with the theme "Invention, Our Stories." The student inventions presented solutions to address the difficulties they found in daily life, such as a step-on umbrella drier, foldable barricade for cars, recycle waste compressor using waste bicycles, and more.

KIPO Commissioner Lee said, "We thank the inventors that dedicated themselves to enhancing the industrial development of our country in the ever-lasting global competition for technological advancement." She added that "we hope the inventors will continue to lead in strengthening our national competitiveness with new inventions, and KIPO will strive to give them full support so that they can focus on research activities without any burdens."