A delegation of 25 senior executives from leading technology companies in South Korea with combined revenues of $5.5 billion visited Israel last week with the objective of exploring the expansion of their cooperation with Israeli industries.
The visit marked the latest milestone in the expanding commercial relationship between Israel and South Korea.
Israel and South Korea last year ratified a free-trade agreement that went into force in December. It is the first FTA that Israel has signed with an Asian country. On an annual basis, Israel exports approximately $1.5 billion to South Korea, while importing $2 billion in Korean goods.
The delegation—organized by Yozma Group Korea together with the Korea World Class Association (KWCA)—met with leaders from two leading Israeli companies seeking to address clean air and climate solutions within two different environments.
First was a visit to Airosphera, an indoor environmental company that has developed a first-of-its-kind personalized air-reforming solution, promoting an innovative concept of air treatment for home, work and other indoor spaces. Its technology utilizes artificial-intelligence capability, along with a unique sensing ability and cloud processing, to produce an all-in-one solution designed to create the optimal personal indoor environment, customized for each individual user. Crucially, and unlike air purifiers, Airosphera’s personalized air-reforming devices also address CO2 levels, with products capable of capturing and balancing the buildup of the harmful gas, as well as treating particulate and microbiological pollutants within indoor spaces, thereby improving people’s productivity and well-being.
The company has already established working agreements with leading Korean mega-corporations, in addition to partnering with Taiwan-based company ASUSTek Computer Inc. to explore utilizing its air-purification technology in the development, manufacturing and sale of products and solutions in Taiwan and Greater China.
“Members of the visiting delegation from South Korea were highly intrigued to learn more about how our personalized air reforming products create an unparalleled ecosystem that supports wellbeing and high performance for a wide variety of users,” said Shlomi Atias, CEO of Airosphera. “We left the meeting hopeful about the immense potential for cooperation and eager to put the next steps into motion in order to transform our ideas for partnerships into concrete realities.”
Next for the delegation was a visit to Israeli climate-tech company Airovation Technologies. Last October, Airovation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korea-based Kolon Industries Inc. to collaborate on a three-phase scaleup process for CO2 capturing (carbon capture) at Kolon’s manufacturing facility. Also last year, Airovation created a subsidiary company in South Korea to facilitate and develop the company’s activity in the country. Airovation’s completion of a $16 million Series A funding round—led by Dreamstone Partners and including the Yozma Group Korea, as well as the UNID Global Corporation—saw a breakthrough for the carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) industry, with the company’s patented chemical invention able to transform carbon dioxide emissions into valuable minerals and products that can be used in the food, feed, glass and fertilizer industries. Airovation’s solutions provide a novel approach within the mineralization sector, which, in collaboration with leading EPC companies and mineral traders, can produce unrivaled profitability and utilization.
“The opportunity to host this influential business delegation represented a significant step in the growth of the promising, multifaceted economic relationship between Israel and South Korea,” said Gil Tomer, co-founder and COO at Airovation Technologies. “These two countries bring highly complementary assets and experiences to the table, paving the way for collaboration that sparks innovation. Airovation Technologies’ South Korea-based partnerships in particular, including with the Yozma Group, Unid Global Corporation, Dreamstone Partners and Kolon Industries, demonstrate how Startup Nation provides the entrepreneurial mindset to ignite innovation, and South Korea offers expertise on scaling. We are confident that this meeting will help both Israeli and Korean industry players take their relationship to new heights and frontiers.”
The KWCA, a group of 300 small- and medium-sized enterprises selected by the Korean government’s “World-Class Project,” is dedicated to spurring growth and development among its members by sharing best practices and strategic insights. In particular, KWCA member companies actively collaborate to expand their global reach through regular meetings with promising overseas companies and research institutes. This year, the Korean business delegation to Israel consisted of around 20 companies, including but not limited to Dongjin Semichem, Kolmar Korea, Nepes, Vitzrocell, Shinyoung, Unitech and Daesung Hi-Tech.
“KWCA member companies have created quality jobs and reinforced the backbone of the industry in Korea through supporting growth and innovation,” said Chun-hyuk Lee, president of KWCA. “I believe the recent visit provides an excellent opportunity for both countries to collaborate more closely and identify new engines for growth.”