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Title “Policy Research Project Seminar on National Response to the COVID-19 Crisis” was Held on March 31st
Date 2020-03-31 Hit 925  

On March 31st, the Department of Strategic Planning at STEPI held a project seminar. The theme of the seminar was “policy research on national response to the COVID-19 crisis.” The participants discussed preparation measures and response strategies for the novel coronavirus from science and technology perspective, and touched on social changes that are expected in the post-COVID-19 world.

   

First, the COVID-19 crisis was defined as an external shock at the national level, and the importance of science and technology to overcome the crisis was highlighted. After Korea saw the first confirmed case in January, the country minimized the spread of damage thanks to quick response measures including testing kits. Science, technology, and innovation played a significant role in this process. However, the participants also mentioned that we should be equipped with higher level (or capacity) of science and technology that will allow us to overcome another virus in the future. At the same time, each stakeholder needs to make efforts to streamline and spread innovation in order to overcome any crisis.

   

Next, the participants discussed a potential revision of global value chain and change of work culture and technology due to the novel coronavirus. In other words, it was expected that COVID-19 will disrupt the existing global value chain and increase protectionism, leading to a change of the global trade order. Therefore, what we need is a solution based on science and technology. On a separate note, the participants discussed that we should study technologies related to changes brought by COVID-19 (including working from home, online class, online conference and online medical care); at the same time, it was discussed that we should study long-term improvements that can be made in terms of technology and policy.

   

The participants also highlighted that institution and international cooperation will play an important role for science and technology innovation. There was a consensus that we need a control tower to quickly respond to infectious disease that can be unpredictable, and we need agile operation of research institutes. At the same time, the participants shared that we need to work with developing countries where infectious disease might start, and find cooperation measures with international organizations for technology and policy.