By Yoon Sung-won
LG Group broke ground for the construction of the nation's largest research complex in western Seoul, Thursday.
It said it will invest more than 4 trillion won in the research complex named "LG Science Park" by 2020 in the Magok Industrial Complex in Gangseo-gu, western Seoul.
Its gross area will be about 1.1 million square meters to accommodate 18 research facilities.
"We need not only to develop core technologies but also to create unique value out of the combination of various industries to lead the global market," LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo said during the groundbreaking ceremony. "We need to gather talent in diverse fields to come up with innovative ideas and realize them."
Some 500 high-ranking officials including President Park Geun-hye, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and Industry Minister Yoon Sang-jik as well as Koo and the group's vice chairmen participated in the groundbreaking ceremony of the research complex.
The LG Science Park is nine times larger than LG Electronics' Seocho R&D Campus, which is currently the largest research facility of LG Group, and twice as large as the LG Twin Towers in Yeouido in Seoul, the group's headquarters.
LG Group said the new research complex will act as the center of LG's next-generation research and development and create about 90,000 new jobs every year, generating some 24 trillion won economic yield.
The company said the first stage of construction is scheduled to be completed by 2017 and 10 LG subsidiaries will be prioritized to move into the complex.
The 10 subsidiaries include LG Electronics, LG Display, LG Innotek, LG Chem, LG Household and Health Care, LG Life Sciences, LG Uplus and LG CNS. A total of 25,000 researchers of electronics, chemical, telecommunication, energy and bio will gather at the complex, the company said.
The complex will encourage researchers from different fields such as information, bio, nano and green technologies to cooperate for converged research projects and provide an integrated support center.
The company also said it will promote a research ecosystem for promising small- and medium-sized enterprises and venture companies and will organize joint research projects for them and offer R&D consultation.
To reduce energy consumption, the research complex will have 7,000 highly-efficient solar power modules that can generate about 3 megawatts of electricity every hour. This is the amount of electricity that about 250 households with four family members need for a day.
It will also use an energy storage facility that saves inexpensive midnight electricity to use for heating and cooling, a light-emitting diodes (LEDs) smart lighting system and energy-saving construction materials.