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[CES 2024] GS Group leader calls for acceleration of future business

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GS Group Chairman Huh Tae-soo (right) looks around the exhibition booth of Nuvilab at the CES 2024 in Las Vegas on Tuesday. (GS Group)

GS Group Chairman Huh Tae-soo has called on the conglomerate’s affiliates to take their respective technologies to the next level and move toward future businesses, during his visit to the CES 2024 held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, from Tuesday to Friday.

According to the Korean energy, retail and construction giant, Huh looked around the exhibition booths of not only Korean conglomerates such as Samsung, Hyundai Motor and LG, but also those of global firms such as Google, Intel, Amazon and Siemens.

Also visiting the exhibition booths of various startups, the GS leader closely looked at how the technologies of artificial intelligence and robots have changed the industries of energy, retail and construction.

After his trip to the CES, Huh went to GS Futures, the conglomerate’s corporate venture capital in San Francisco, to assess the unit’s investment in new technology and commercialization trends in the North American region.

GS Futures was established in early 2020, shortly after Huh took the chairman position in Dec. 2019. Since then, GS Futures has continuously focused on searching for new technology and carrying out investments.

According to the group, GS Futures has made 70 investments worth $120 million so far. The CVC has invested in sectors including industrial biotechnology, as well as carbon capture, usage and storage, or CCUS, technology that can back up GS Group’s eco-friendly businesses.

The companies on the receiving end of GS Futures’ investment include ZymoChem, a developer of carbon-conserving technology that can convert renewable feedstock into high-value materials in an eco-friendly way; Geltor, a biodesign company that develops gelatin proteins for beauty and nutrition industries using microbial engineering and cellular fermentation technologies; and Heirloom, a direct air capture solution provider that aims to remove 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2035.

GS Futures also recently invested in Articul8, a spinout firm from Intel that focuses on providing clients with an optimized generative AI software platform, proof of the Korean conglomerate’s interest in the latest AI technology.

“Let’s use the economic recession and worsening business environment as an opportunity to create new future businesses instead of countering them in a defensive manner,” said Huh in the New Year’s meeting with GS Group executives.

“Fundamental changes in business environments and new business opportunities that were unseen during the good times show up clearly in difficult times. Now is the time and chance for the new businesses that GS has steadily prepared to take big steps.”

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