Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The South Korean government announced it will spend $21.7 million on the discovery and development of innovative medicine using this technology.

Industries such as manufacturing, automotive, biotech and pharmaceuticals are showing a strong interest in adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology. AI is recognized as what will become the leading general-purpose technology in the Industry 4.0, which is an information and communications technology revolution involving big data and the cloud. In South Korea, the government announced it will spend $21.7 million on the discovery and development of innovative medicine using AI in the next three years.

According to the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, about 30 South Korean pharmaceutical companies are using AI platforms of their own development for their work. The portion of the South Korean market that uses AI is estimated to grow 40% annually to reach about $4 billion by 2024. South Korea's biopharmaceutical companies are continuously seeking to develop new drugs with AI technology. Using AI can reduce the time and cost of developing new drugs. For one new drug to come out, more than 10,000 candidate materials must be reviewed on average—and even if candidate materials are found, animal testing and human clinical testing are highly like to fail. It typically takes at least 10 to 15 years and an investment of $8 billion to $16 billion to develop a new drug. Bur when AI is used, the duration of new drug development is shortened to an average of three to four years, with costs reduced accordingly. For example, CJ Healthcare, a leading pharmaceutical company in Korea, announced that they recently signed an agreement with Standigm Inc. to develop new anti-cancer drugs by using AI, and the South Korea pharmaceutical company Daewoong recently announced a partnership agreement with the U.S.-based pharmaceutical company A2A. A2A plans to design new compounds using SCULPT, a new drug design platform that uses AI, while Daewoong Pharm plans to conduct a material synthesis and evaluation to draw candidate substances for the new drug.

Due to the pandemic and the panic surrounding it, many biopharmaceutical companies have been founded to seek treatments using futuristic technology; Wisconsin companies may find opportunities to collaborate with South Korean companies on solutions.