A foreign client talks with Mirae Climate officials during the 2015 Meteorological Technology World Expo at the Brussels Expo Center, Tuesday. / Korea Times photo by Park Si-soo

By Park Si-soo

BRUSSELS, Belgium ― Korea’s leading meteorological companies are making a global pitch of their products and services at the 2015 Meteorological Technology World Expo, which kicked off here Tuesday for a three-day run.

Nine Korean companies are taking part in the trade show, drawing attention from potential customers, market researchers and weather experts from all around the world. They are Daeyang Instrument, Mirae Climate, Shindong Digitech, Eco Brain, WeatherPia, Jung Sang Lidar, GBM Inc., Jinyang Industrial and Korea Digital. The Korea Meteorological Industry Promotion Agency (KMIPA) sponsored their exhibition.

They are expected to have up to 136 pre-contract negotiations during the show, up from 113 during a similar event in Saint Petersburg, Russia, last year.

Among 150 participants are Vaisala, the world’s biggest meteorological equipment and services provider, Campbell, Toshiba and Mitsubishi.

“The technological gap between Korean companies and the world’s major players is narrowing rapidly. This means they can have global success if they have good marketing and promotion,” said Kang Han-goo, a KMIPA assistant manager dealing with international cooperation. “One regrettable thing is that they are still little known globally. That’s why the KMIPA encourages and supports companies to exhibit and demonstrate their products or services at international trade shows.”

Tapio Haarlaa, a Vaisala manager, said Korean companies are good at making quick responses to market changes and integration of independent functions or services. He called this a “fundamental source” of their competitive edge.

Brian Day, president of Campbell, saw high growth potential of WeatherPia, which developed an innovative multi-point scanning snow gauge. His company formed a strategic partnership with WeatherPia early this year, winning the right for the global distribution of the device. The product drew a lot of attention during the Russia expo.

“It’s innovative in many ways,” Brian said. “A test operation is underway in Canada. If the test is successful, Campbell and WeatherPia will jointly launch global sales.” 

Korean participants expressed high hopes that the expo will help lift their international profile.

“This expo will let many clients become aware of my company and its products,” said Lee Young-mi, CEO of Eco Brain, a weather information-based business management systems provider. “It’s widely believed that European and American companies are leading the market. During this expo, however, I would like to show that they have a big challenger in Korea, which is Eco Brain.”

The company has several clients in Korea, including the state-run Korea Electric Power Corporation and the Korea Power Exchange. It looks to secure foreign clients during the expo.

Daeyang Instrument is committed to promoting its multifunctional weather information system (WIS-200) that is capable of checking wind speed, direction, temperature, barometric pressure, relative humidity and rainfall at the same time.

“We are the first company in Korea that developed a multifunctional weather information sensor, which is better than products from Vaisala, Lufft or other global companies in terms of accuracy and durability,” said Lee Seon-gil, a senior researcher at Daeyang. “Price is another competitive edge. Our product is 30 percent cheaper than rival products.”

The company has sold 1,000 sensors to SK Telecom, Korea’s biggest mobile carrier. SK uses Daeyang’s products to collect weather conditions on the Korean Peninsula on a real-time basis, which is shared with its subscribers. 

Jinyang Industrial is promoting its high-end devices monitoring wind direction, speed, temperature and humidity.

Shindong Digitech is pitching its high-end multi-functional buoys, while Jung Sang Lidar is doing the work for its laser-based high-end fog and visibility sensors.

Mirae Climate is demonstrating its interactive three-dimensional visualization system for large gridded meteorological data sets, KMet3D.

The global weather-forecasting market is estimated at 16 trillion won ($13.9 billion), with the figure rising continuously amid increasing demand for high-tech forecasting devices and technology for more accurate information.

Finnish company Vaisala has maintained unrivaled leadership for many years with more than an 80 percent market share. Korean companies exported products and services worth an estimated 30 billion won last year.