[PANGYO ISSUE] Pangyo Technovalley Weekly News, News from the last week of September

-Wardrobe at a glance with NHN’s AI service… NHN officially launches AI Fashion service

NHN announced on Sep. 29 that it has officially launched the AI fashion service specialized in the fashion industry by using its own AI technology. The AI fashion service was developed by learning data from various domestic and foreign shopping platforms based on image search technology.

AI fashion provides services like △Camera search that allows users to quickly and easily search for similar products using only images and without knowing product information such as product name or brand, and △Recommendation of similar products in different price ranges and products with similar images if there is no stock.

By using this, small and medium-sized shopping malls can easily provide sophisticated AI-based recommendation services. It is more reasonable in terms of cost and resources than building AI services on their own.

NHN is focusing on AI service advancement by analyzing various attributes such as category, color, material, and pattern in product images and launching a “deep tagging” feature that can be implemented as a detailed search filter, while continuing to provide AI-based services like OCR, license plate recognition, voice recognition, and voice synthesis.

-Smilegate Investment forms a 47 billion won “2nd XR Content Fund”

Smilegate Investment announced on Sep. 28 that it has completed the formation of “Smilegate XR Content Fund No. 2,” which invests in virtual convergence technology and ad-tech related to the metaverse industry.

The total amount formed is 47 billion won, and it is the first time in four months since it was selected as the management company of the Ministry of Science and ICT’s account in the second official investment project of Korea Venture Investment Corp last May.

For funding, fund of funds was used as the anchor financier, and KOBACO, LG U+, Realies Pictures, and Smilegate Holdings participated.

Lee Jae-hyeok(이재혁), Director of Smilegate Investment who is the main fund manager, said, “With the investment and management experience from the 1st fund, which has been almost used up in less than two years after its formation, we were able to quickly form the 2nd fund. To support the sustainable growth of the 1st fund investment companies, we will review follow-up investments, discover companies that the digital native generation wants, and foster a technology service ecosystem in the field of virtual convergence and ad-tech together with investors.”

-NC Soft to create future growth engines…diversifies BM by combining AI with finance

NC Soft would carry out the diversification of business model. It would develop monetization strategies using the AI technology besides BM in gaming. It would strengthen business foundation in digital finance and the global market going beyond BM for the domestic market that focuses only on “Lineage”.

According to the sources on the 27th, NC Soft would organize a team to carry out new business projects and monetization strategies that combine fin-tech, the IT industry with the AI technology. It would set a direction of the new finance business project by analyzing ways to capitalize on the digital financial market and AI.

New business projects such as fin-tech and financial services are different from the existing development and project structures in NC Soft. It analyzes the validity of new BM projects and consumer value based on data. It lays the foundation for actual business by analyzing the business and regulatory environments. It is planning to do business by working in partnership with companies overseas.

NC Soft is paying attention to AI in order to find business models other than gaming. The company started AI research in 2011. It is running an AI center and five research institutes under the NLP center. 200 researchers specialized in AI are currently working. It has AI technology in various fields from Non Player Character AI to development, operation, vision, speech, and language. It also made baseball information service “page” using AI translation engine or AI widely available.

And NC Soft reviews game business models which are their major business. It hires seasoned business model planners and business model analysts to plan a business model structure of a new game of subsidiary company overseas and analyze business models of global gaming competitors. It is not limited to mobile devices but includes both computers and consoles. They are expected to be involved in market expansion of its cross-play service PURPLE and strengthening of business in the US.

-SK Bioscience “the clinical trial result of South Korea’s first vaccine to be released in October”

SK Bioscience which is conducting phase 3 clinical trial of covid-19 vaccine would release the interim results of phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in this coming October.

Kim Hun(김훈) CTO of SK Bioscience announced the plan explaining the company’s future plans of “GBP510,” a potential candidate material of covid-19, at “the 18th autumn conference of the Korean Vaccine Society 2021” which was held online.

Kim Hun said, “we have confirmed safety and efficacy in the phase 1 and 2 clinical trials conducted in the first half of this year based on which we have begun clinical trial phase 3. It showed five to six times higher neutralizing antibody then standard serum in patients in recovery which makes it on par with leading vaccines.”

Kim Hun added, “we would be able to disclose detailed clinical trial results after negotiations with CEPI(Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) from October. CEPI is an international private organization created by governments and charities which came together to raise funds and it is providing support for the development of GBP510.

Kim said, “we would make every effort to make sure clinical trials don’t get delayed by working closely with International Vaccine Institute.” SK Bioscience is aiming to unveil it in South Korea and start supplying “Covax facility,” a global mechanism for equitable access to covid-19 vaccines, after putting an end to the clinical trials in the first half of next year. 

Kim answered to the question about response plans to variants, “we are developing a master cell bank in order to respond to variants such as delta and beta. We would begin to conduct clinical trials of variants in order and make it like an influenza vaccine. SK Bioscience had developed a quadrivalent cell-based flu vaccine. 

Pangyo Technovalley is an innovation hub for global companies comparable to the Silicon Valley in the US, Zhongguancun in China, and STATION F in France. It is an Asia tech hub with 1,259 IT, BT, CT, and NT companies that possess innovative products and technologies. Located just south of the metropolitan area, it provides the best environment for Korean companies to do business with great transportation access and infrastructure.

Various high-tech companies are located in Pangyo Technovalley, and it is occupied by 64,000 full-time employees, many in their 20-30s. In terms of industry, the companies are engaged in information technology, contents technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology.

With the support of innovative companies with global capabilities such as Kakao, Naver, AhnLab, Krafton, NCSoft, Nexon, and Hancom, companies in Pangyo Technovalley recorded 107 trillion won in sales last year. Investment and infrastructure growth in Pangyo is expected to continue, with the Metaverse hub entering Pangyo this year.

Source: Pangyo Techno Valley Official Newsroom