Senior Officials from South Korean Industrial Group Visit Birmingham

Korea1Senior officials from South Korea’s public authority for industrial development were in Birmingham this week to learn how the city’s industrial strategy could help shape the development of  51 industrial parks in their country.

South Korea is one of the world’s most innovative countries, already leading the way in electronics and telecommunications.

The visit this week by senior officials from the Korean Industrial Complex Cooperation (KIKOX) focused on how the city has incorporated industrial symbiosis methodology to support economic development in Tyseley, an area designated as an environmental enterprise zone by the city.

International Synergies, based at Kings Norton Business Centre in the city, is the world’s leading expert in the application of industrial symbiosis, having implemented many ground-breaking projects over the last decade; successfully exporting its approach to more than 20 countries across six continents, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa and Turkey.

The company pioneered using industrial symbiosis as a tool for economic development and industrial strategy in Tyseley in order to harness the area’s potential and become an exemplar for the low carbon economy utilising the latest in green technologies.

Birmingham City Council commissioned International Synergies to look at the existing infrastructure and resource flows in order to identify opportunities to increase the productivity of resources, reduce carbon emissions, and spark new investment and green business growth through industrial symbiosis.

One of the key recommendations of the study included drawing in investment to increase reprocessing capabilities for reusing waste materials generated in the area, including metals and wood. As a result, the area is in the midst of developing the UK’s first biomass plant to be fuelled entirely by waste wood which is set to produce 10.3MW of electricity and divert 67,000 tonnes wood waste generated by local construction projects away from landfill.

The delegation visited the development of the biomass plant as part of the visit, and met representatives from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Birmingham City Council and Innovate UK.

KIKOX is particularly interested in developments in the Tyseley Environmental Enterprise Zone as it manages 51 industrial parks across Korea and is looking at ways to further improve economic and environmental performance, with particular interest in the development of green technologies.

Peter Laybourn, Chief Executive of International Synergies said: “We have a long and established relationship with KIKOX having collaborated with them over the last decade, sharing our experiences on the implementation of industrial symbiosis and I look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come.”

On Tuesday 2nd June, the delegation visited the Council House and was welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham.

Delegates included:

Mr. Nam Hoon KANG, President & CEO, KICOX

Mr. KANG was appointed President & CEO of KICOX in September 2013. In the previous administration, he served as Secretary to President in the Presidential Office (Deputy Minister-level). He brings to KICOX his extensive experience in the public sector. Mr. KANG served as Director General of Green Growth and Climate Change Policy Bureau well as Director for various key posts, including Industrial Policy Division. He was also secondee to OECD. Mr. KANG earned his Ph.D degree from University of Michigan in economics and received a bachelor’s degree in International Economics from Seoul National University.

Additional delegates included Ms. SONG Leerang, Mr. PARK Jongwon, Mr. SHIM Gwang Seup, Mr. AHN Bo-Gwang, Ms. JEONG Sohee, Dr. JEONG Mi Hoon.