This article evaluates the effect of research and development (R&D) promotion policies on the development of Korea's technology-intensive industries. Together with financial and taxation benefits, national R&D projects have played a crucial developmental role. The formation of a national R&D consortium by the government contributed to the transformation of the Korean semiconductor industry from an imitator to an innovator by facilitating technological catch-up. In the case of the mobile handset industry, the national R&D project played a key role in making Korea a technological leader. This article reveals that the role of the government was crucial in the development of such technology-intensive industries.