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Innovation and universal incomes in South Korea

Innovation and universal incomes in South Korea
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Its the unlikely setting for South Korea's tech hub.

Nestled in the heart of some of the country's most pristine and history filled landscapes, the Pangyo Techno Valley in Gyeonggi Province is leading the country- and the world when it comes to innovation.

START UP CENTRAL

Though flanked by tech giants including Samsung and LG, the valley is filled with start ups looking to make their mark on the global stage.

And some are well on their way to making waves in South Korea and beyond.

Zero Shuttle is being trialled in the valley as the country's first driverless bus.

The shuttle could revolutionise public transport across the country, with developers particularly keen to utilise the valley's roads as trial routes.

Bio tech start up Ybrain is also at the cutting edge of smart technology in the valley.

Its most cutting edge innovation? A headband used to successfully treat neurological diseases.

Developers say the headband emits very weak electrical currents, modulating the function of the brain.

It says that these can help ease the symptoms of degenerative diseases including Alzheimers and Dementia as well as depression and Schizophrenia in patients.

Developed and trialled in the valley, the device is now being tested out in more than 40 hospitals across the Seoul region and there are plans for an even bigger rollout.

FUTURE PROSPECTS

The Panyo Valley unquestionably believes in the potential of South Korea's youth.

For a country grappling with the needs and demands of an ageing population and workplace, the Gyeonggi Province is set to implement a new experiment by paying all 24 year olds a basic universal income, regardless of whether they're employed or not.

It seems almost ironic that in a technological hub, it is advancing technology that is behind the radical proposal.

The Governor of Gyeonggi Province Jae-myung Lee says, “In the future, machinery and AI will be producing all the products - and many people will lose the opportunity to work. That is why there has to be a basic income.''

The plan is also aimed at propping up the local economy, with the income paid in a currency that can only be spent in small businesses in the region, ensuring the valley's spoils are shared.

And it's drawing the attention of the rest of the world, with the province holding an international conference with 30 cities and countries attending.

The world will be watching to see just what groundbreaking ideas the valley comes up with next.

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