Feeds

Samsung to throw fat wad of Won at rare earth alternatives

Korean titan gets its rocks off and chases optoelectrics

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Samsung is ploughing 1.5 trillion won (£869m) into an ambitious decade-long research project, some of which will be used to develop alternatives to rare earths – those substances vital to the manufacture of a huge range of hi-tech products.

The Samsung Future Technology Cultivation Project will feature 27 research areas: 12 covering subjects in basic science areas and 15 in developing new materials and ICT innovations, according to Joongang Daily.

In the latter, one of the proposed projects will research whether optoelectronics materials can be used to replace rare earths in hi-tech kit.

A 35-year-old Kyung Hee University professor, Yu Yeong-min, will be leading the project, although it’s not clear exactly how much of the 1.5tr won he’ll have to spend.

The 27 proposed projects are apparently just the first of hundreds to be given funding by Samsung, with screening for the second batch due to begin in January.

Although the electronics giant will obviously benefit from the results of any research, the wider goal is to help new president Park Geun-hye’s attempts at boosting economic growth for Korea and win the country a first Nobel prize in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine.

China has for several years dominated the supply of the rare earths found in everything from smartphones to catalytic converters, producing over 90 per cent of the stuff, despite claiming to hold less than a third of the world’s reserves.

The Middle Kingdom has also been accused of trying to strangle supply of the materials for its own ends. That plan appears not to have worked as other nations ramped up discovery and mining efforts.

In March, for example, Japan found "astronomically” high levels of rare earth deposits at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

That said, any new research which could reduce the world’s dependence on these far-from-rare but often messy-to-mine substances would surely be welcomed. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.