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Together to go farther, widely to dig deep – Dr. Chan-su Park, Head of Institutional Innovation Research
Date 2018.10.29 Hit 189
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Chan-su Park
Research Fellow
Office of Institutional Innova

Dr. Chan-su Park, Research Fellow, studied Technology Policy and Technology Economics. He is the Head of the Office of Institutional Innovation Research and is an adjunct professor at Sungkyunkwan University. He researches about the perspectives of system in the industries and companies as well as the science and technology fields or R&D activities in a narrow sense.


1. What led you to work at STEPI?

I majored in economics at my undergraduate school. And as I went to a graduate school of engineering, I studied the productivity analysis in interdisciplinary studies and the innovation system. Then I naturally got to know about STEPI. At that time, my supervisor recommended that STEPI has competitive edge because there are a lot of demands but little supply in this field, and he said STEPI is representative in this field. After working at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and SERI, I moved to here and this became my third job.


2. How do you spend your day as a researcher?

It's hard to say that this is a researcher's day, but personally speaking I'm just busy. I go to work early and return home late, so I have a hectic day. Especially, I have to visit Seoul almost twice a week because the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Science Creative Foundation, and KIAT, who are my clients, are still in the metropolitan area. It takes a long time to travel so I feel like I'm too busy even to read a book.


3. What research activities are you currently doing?

First of all, I do researches about innovation system in the Office of Institutional Innovation Research. This field is changing rapidly, and I am still unfamiliar with it because I haven't worked about it since my graduate school. I'm also interested in the start-up support policy, research on medium-sized companies, and industrial security which I have researched previously. Our major client segments are diverse including the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Science and ICT, and from last year, we are also working on the mid and long-term strategic projects of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. I think we are mainly focusing on studying the improvement of the institutional perspective by taking charge of the policy tasks of various ministries.


4. Currently, you are the Head of the Office of Institutional Innovation Research. How do you lead research activities as the head?

I feel that it is difficult to take a position. As the head of the office, there are research works and management works, and both of which are harder than I thought. You have to do two things at the same time; to do my research tasks and to manage the unit. First of all, I think my role is to help fellow researchers in our office. I want to support their researches and tasks as much as possible, but I don't think that I'm doing well because I'm busy with my own work. Personally, I listen to troubles and difficulties of the members, sympathize or help them if I can. I have to say that I have not been able to do so much on my excuse that I have been busy so far.


5. What is your role as a Head and what is your know-how to play the role well?

I think that a Head is more like a responsible person of the unit who represents the organization rather than being a general researcher. Maybe the most important role is to make a win-win situation for the institution and researcher, namely, between the organization and individual. Of course, for this purpose, I think that the institution should show trust first, so as a director, I always tell our unit members to have faith always. I think a good company is where the organization trusts individuals and that individuals are voluntarily engaged in a positive cycle of raising the organization's status. So I'm trying to be trustworthy first.


6. What are the research directions and plans you pursue for the future?

I think that our office pursues the innovation of science and technology policy system in the narrowest sense as priority. We are improving the system that helps the government's R&D activities to be carried out more efficiently and effectively. In order to do that, we must propose and make improvements of the systems more specifically than now. I think we should do policy studies so that the various activities of the government and the field come close to each other. In addition, we need to focus on the clients’ demands, and respond to requests for short-term improvement as well as the mid and long-term strategies.


7. What do you think about living as a researcher?

The biggest advantage of a researcher is that we can think and judge by ourselves. The most important advantage is that the organization or the position is the one that works , but the individual is able to judge and give advice. However, it is difficult that I have to be more and more responsible for my judgment. Especially, I think that it is not easy to respond when individual judgment or standard is wrong. As a director, frankly, it is not easy to make the right decision for every situation after all. Being able to speak for yourself is the best thing for a researcher, but it is not always easy to accept responsibility and consequences.


8. What advice do you have for future researchers?

I think trust is more important than work. Only when you have trust in others, you can increase the efficiency of work and achieve the research outcome by cooperating with each other, right? I rarely worry about the project when I work with people I can trust. If everyone is doing their best and synergizing with each other, the work will somehow be finished well. Although you can't get a good outcome for a project, if you believe that it was the best effort, then you will get a better outcome next time.


9. What is your motto or slogan?

Go together to go farther, dig widely to dig deep. I think I mentioned earlier that we have to go together in order to go farther. Mutual trust must be built up together to get more achievements and successful results. There is not much we can do alone. We have to work together to make the journey for a long time to get good research results. And I think that it is better to study widely in order to study deeply. Of course, it is not wrong that some people say it is better to concentrate on only one field. But in the case of me, I studied various fields and gained a lot of knowledge, and I naturally could deepened my knowledge of my field of major. Especially now, because all the fields are converging, we might be lagging behind if we dig only one field like in the old times, aren't we?


10. Finally, I heard that you are always funny. What is your secret to have such a good sense of humor?

I am not at all funny, nor humorous. My daughter always says to me that I'm lame. Perhaps my kind fellow researchers thought my jokes were funny. Well, I just try to enjoy working with the people who I trust as I said before. It's a job anyway. Certainly my colleagues will do their best so we don't always need to feel nervous and worry too much about the work. Maybe I make some jokes thanks to such a relaxed mind, right? Anyway I don't think I'm a humorous person at all. but I would like to say thanks to those who thought I was humorous.