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Apple R&D accelerator discuss smart manufacturing with Korean SMEs

June 23, 2023 - 16:21 By Jo He-rim
Apple's Vice President of Operations Priya Balasubramaniam delivers a keynote speech at Smart Manufacturing Forum at Postech in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, in this photo provided by Apple Korea on Friday. (Apple Korea)

Apple's first manufacturing research and development accelerator discussed the impacts of artificial intelligence and machine learning in smart manufacturing with small and medium-sized businesses in South Korea, the iPhone maker said Friday.

Apple Manufacturing R&D Accelerator held its first Smart Manufacturing Forum in Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province, for two days from Wednesday, inviting hundreds of guests from SMEs, industry experts and academia to exchange insights on smart manufacturing, the company said.

The manufacturing R&D accelerator is Apple's first manufacturing specialized entity it launched worldwide. Located at Postech in the southeastern city of Pohang, the accelerator has been providing free lectures, training and one-on-one consulting to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies with smart process-related equipment, Apple Korea said.

"We are proud to host our first-ever Smart Manufacturing Forum at the Apple R&D Accelerator in Pohang. I am impressed by their creativity and passion, and I’ve never been more confident that Korea will continue to be a pioneer in smart manufacturing," Priya Balasubramaniam, Apple’s vice president of operations, said in her keynote speech.

"Not many companies have bridged the gap between conventional and smart manufacturing. Many, especially small and medium-scale enterprises, don’t know where to begin. At Apple, we believe that we can help bridge this gap. And we saw an opportunity to work toward that mission here.

She also said the success and growth of manufacturing in Korea is the reason why Apple chose the country to launch its first manufacturing R&D accelerator.

At the forum, experts from World Economic Forum Global Lighthouse Network companies, including Posco, LG Electronics, LS Electric and Kenvue, shared their success stories of unlocking the smart manufacturing process, Apple said.

Experts from Apple, industry and academia also participated in panel discussions on the success stories and impact of AI and machine learning in smart manufacturing.

The participating SMEs also took part in various activities, including workshops, classroom training and lab sessions with industry experts.