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Title The 421st STEPI Science & Technology Policy Forum – Finding Ways of R&D Performance Encouragement in Demonstration
Date 2018-09-21 Hit 880  

Science & Technology Policy Institute (STEPI) held the 421st STEPI Science & Technology Policy Forum under the theme of “Finding Ways of R&D Performance in Demonstration.” The forum was organized by the Office of National R&D Research to seek ways to produce R&D performances in demonstration, such as the commercialization of national science technology R&D projects.

The forum was commenced with the opening speech of Dr. Tae-jeong Ha, Vice President of STEPI and the subject presentations delivered by Dr. Wang-goo Gang, head of Unmanned Vehicle Advanced Research Center of Korea Aerospace Research Institute and Professor Hyun-deok Kim of Kyungpook National University. After the presentations, a panel discussion, which was moderated by Dr. Seok-won Hwang, head of the Division of Innovation System Research of STEPI, was followed, where Mr. In-cheol Yang, CEO of Solmedix, Dr. Young-eun Yoo, head of the Department of Nano Manufacturing Technology of Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials, Mr. Yeon-ho Bang, head of the Growth Engine Planning Division of the Ministry of Science and ICT, Dr. Yong-rae Cho, Associate Research Fellow of the Office of National R&D Research of STEPI and the attendees of each session participated.

First, the subject presentations touched upon the meaning of demonstration in the fields of research and policy planning. Under the topic of the expansion of the concept of demonstration with the rising importance of R&D planning, Dr. Wang-goo Gang highlighted the importance of demonstration in the initial stages of research and shared actual cases. According to his presentation, the success rate of R&D inevitably declines in an environment with higher risk although various demonstrations are tried in the processes of product development, test, operation and mass production. In order to increase the success rate of a R&D, he argued that we need to try more diverse and more phased methods of demonstration. For the development of a new technology, since there is no basic concept, he saw the establishment of concept via early demonstration was necessary. Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of investment in advance demonstration by sharing the development process of the F-35 aircraft of the US and the case of the unmanned X37B spaceship. Through DARPA’s end-game method, which applies phased R&D approaches, he also presented how it could help grasp source technology. Professor Hyun-deok Kim took the software development project for the application of 3D printing in the health care being carried out by Institute of Advanced Convergence Technology and the remote water supply check system of Daegu Metropolitan City as the examples of demonstration. He stated that the higher the industry is regulated, the more critical it is to secure demonstrated data. He particularly emphasized the utilization of demonstration in new technology to accelerate its market release because new technology has no qualification standard in place. Against this backdrop, he suggested the need of restructuring of the existing R&D system, pointing out the practical challenge where the ways of research expense execution vary.

In the panel discussion followed, a variety of opinions and solutions on the current R&D demonstration and future approaches were introduced. First, as mentioned in the subject presentations, it was claimed that more flexible RFP is required in an environment with increased risk because the likelihood of the success of a R&D at the point of its completion can be improved only when RFP can freely evolve based on the result of demonstration. Also, there were some who indicated that the accumulation of data produced in the stage of demonstration would allow us to capture new demand and new opportunity in the market. In other words, as the R&D of new technology lacks grounds for R&D achievements, it can be used as the basis of R&D by creating and accumulating data through demonstration at each stage of R&D, and used to search for new markets and new demand. In conclusion, a consensus was reached that the demonstration in a R&D task is an essential process to maximize the success rate of the task, and therefore it is necessary to expand support for demonstration. While there are a lot of administrative constraints to carry out the demonstration within R&D stage, many agreed that there is another limit on the expansion of a separate budget for demonstration. Considering all, it was concluded that it is required to discuss measures to enable R&D and demonstration to coexist.

The forum, which was attended by not only experts in the domestic science and technology field who are closely related to the demonstration of the national R&D but also more than 50 participants who are interested in the related policy, provided an opportunity to take a glance at the current status of demonstration for R&D performance and come up with ways to adopt more advanced demonstration going forward. We had many brilliant R&Ds that eventually failed in the commercialization phase, which makes the stage of demonstration more critical. Therefore, the discussions made in the forum are expected to advance further and help the creation of future R&D performance.