Press Release

Board View

Ministry of Environment Hosts the Startup Water 2023

▷Total prize money of KRW 120 million awarded to 18 teams, along with various growth support to enhance the competitiveness of the water industry

The Ministry of Environment (Minister Han Wha-jin) will host the ‘Startup Water 2023*’ on the afternoon of December 7 at Inter-Burgo Exco Hotel (located in Buk-gu, Daegu), in conjunction with the ‘Korea International Water Week 2023 (December 6-9),’ to promote the activation of domestic water industry innovation startups.* Discovering emerging water industry startups and providing support for technology commercialization, performance testing facilities, counseling, etc.

On this day, the event will include the final presentation competition, evaluation, and award ceremony for water industry-related ideas and business challenges (top 8) received through previous solicitations, showcasing excellent technologies.

The Ministry conducted a call for proposals in July and August this year, receiving a total of 112 projects from 389 participants. Through evaluation by a national assessment team of 30 members, expert evaluations in three stages, and a four-week period of item refinement mentoring, the Ministry selected a final 18 projects as winning projects.

The winning projects include innovative technologies such as AI and big data-based leakage detection and augmented reality (AR) solutions for underground facilities (pipes, etc.). Among them, 10 projects received commendations, and the final rankings for the top 8 projects will be determined through a competition held on the day of the event. The Ministry plans to live-stream the competition online via YouTube* starting from 2 p.m. on December 7.* Access the YouTube channel at or search for ' 물산업 혁신창업' to watch the event

On that day, the winners will be awarded a total of KRW 12 million in prize money and business development funds. The Ministry and K-Water plan to support the winners’ step-by-step growth and overseas expansion by providing performance testing facilities, attracting investments through water industry funds, and facilitating participation in overseas exhibitions.

Park Jae-hyeon, Director General of the Water Management Policy Office at the Ministry of Environment, stated, “The water industry is a promising sector that is growing into a high-value industry along with digital transformation, and it requires a foundation for diverse innovative ideas and business development.” He added, “In the future, we will actively nurture aspiring entrepreneurs and promising companies with innovative technologies, aiming to produce ‘unicorn companies’ in the water industry as well."

For further information, please contact the Public Relations Division. 

Contact person: Gina Lee, foreign media spokesperson

Phone: +82-44-201-6055

Email: gcjgina