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Title 2018 STEPI International Symposium (The 420th STEPI Science and Technology Policy Forum)
Date 2018-05-29 Hit 550  

  STEPI held the 2018 International Symposium on "The Role of Korea in Global STI Development Cooperation” on Thursday May 24 to celebrate the 31st anniversary of STEPI. The event was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and it was set as a place to explore Korea's future path in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).


  At the symposium, Dr. El Tayeb Mustafa, the President of the Future University in Sudan and Dr. Hongjoo Hahm, the Deputy Executive Secretary of UN ESCAP gave keynote speeches. Three researchers from STEPI: Dr. ChiUng Song, the Chief Director of the Division of Global Innovation Strategy; Dr. Wangdong Kim, the Head of the Office of ODA Project; and Dr. Hwan Il Park, the Head of the Office of Multilateral Cooperation Project gave topic presentations. Afterwards, Dr. Deok Soon Yim, a Senior Research Fellow from STEPI as the moderator conducted panel discussion session with three panelists: Dr. Shumete Gizaw, the State Minister of Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Jonathan Wong, the Chief of Technology and Innovation of UN ESCAP, and Prof. Dong Ju Choi, the Dean of the Graduate School of International Service at Sookmyung Women’s University, and participants from each session.


  In his keynote speech, President El Tayeb Mustafa introduced the development history of STI and advocated the transition of science and technology policy ideology with the case of international organizations. In particular, he explained that global policy researches for the development of science and technology-related fields are increasing and regional and international cooperation are being strengthened; he asserted that international cooperation on science and technology innovation for climate change, achieving SDG, destructive technology development and green economy construction are needed to establish a future strategy.


  After that, Dr. Hahm from UN ESCAP introduced the training and research activities of UN ESCAP for developing countries, and explained the close relationship between economic development and science and technology. He asserted that global economic inequality is linked to inequality in science and technology, thus, solutions are necessary. In particular, he thought that innovations in science and technology will be a powerful means of realizing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and urged the private sector to revitalize participation to achieve SDGs which require huge investment. He also added that the importance of science and technology can be recognized through Korea's Official Development Assistance (ODA) activities, and raised the need to produce a result-oriented framework in the future.


  Following that, the status of Korean government’s policies for supporting developing countries, the status of STEPI’s ODA projects, and countermeasures for climate change issues were presented. Dr. Song explained the importance of 'Learning by Doing' for knowledge production rather than mere technology development and introduced major cases of leading technology development by Korea through Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) and Agency for Defense Development (ADD). In addition, he explained how Korea has promoted science and technology-industrialization policies that have been linked closely with the establishment of economic growth policies from the 1960s to the 2000s, and asserted that industrialization of science and technology and economic growth in developing countries are possible through the transfer of Korea’s experiential solutions.

  Dr. Kim introduced the development cooperation project which was established and promoted by the International Innovation Cooperation Center (IICC) of STEPI. He explained that IICC is an STI ODA platform which provides knowledge to partner countries, policy advisory services to relevant ministries, cooperates with international organizations, and facilitates domestic and overseas networks and also presented a blueprint for future international conferences and joint research projects. Finally, Dr. Park presented how Korea is responding to climate change issues among global challenges and suggested STI cooperation measures to solve the problems.


  At the panel discussion involving all keynote speakers and presenters, diverse opinions on how Korea should promote development cooperation in science and technology were suggested. First, there was a consensus on the need of various approaches for Korea's science and technology development cooperation, and as Korea's ODA is steadily increasing, there is now a need to selectively promote STI ODA with proven effectiveness. Ultimately, it was pointed out that the clear definition and purpose of science and technology development cooperation should be established, and statistical information and record keeping for the related policy establishment are important. In addition, it was also argued that a multilateral cooperation system is needed to resolve fragmentation of Korea's science and technology development cooperation, and some claimed that the main agents who carry out ODA projects are structurally scattered at present. They argued that the cooperation system should be processed between ministries, organizations, and companies because the effectiveness of ODA projects is less in such fragmented situation.


  This symposium was attended by about 100 people who are domestic and overseas experts in science and technology and those interested in STI development cooperation. They examined the current status of ODA projects in Korea and STEPI and discussed about measures and Korea’s role to promote global STI development cooperation for the future. We hope that STEPI will become the center to develop global STI strategy and create a blueprint to develop more effective ODA projects in the future.