The TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, which is based in Netherlands, has signed the agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs this week and agreed to invest in the country's National Food Cluster in Iksan, some 200km southwest of Seoul, by 2015.
TNO has chosen the location as a stepping-stone into the Asian food market. TNO has been involved in developing and commercialising new food products for over 80 years.
Lim Jung-bin, director-general of the food industry policy bureau at the ministry said that the move would be the first step for Korea in becoming a hub for the Northeast Asian food market, helping the country attract more global food companies and research institutes.
A total of US$521m has been invested in the national Food Cluster project. As a country heavily relying on imports for its food supplies, South Korea has been attempting to achieve prominence within Asia by boosting research in food biotechnology, especially GMO.