Jeju to Take Ambitious Steps with Smart Grid Technology
As new, renewable energy and green growth are becoming the center of future national industry, the Jeju Special Self Governing Province is taking steps to embrace this new wave of change. "Most of us know that the tangerine industry is the lifeline business of Jeju Island," Governor Woo Keun-Min expressed his determination in an interview, "But I daresay that the Smart Grid industry will overtake the tangerine industry. I hope this shows my resolve for it."
Jeju Island has always stayed ahead in alternate energy sources such as wind or solar power. However, they have turned their heads to a new industry - the Smart Grid - which is a convergence technology, which takes its roots from energy and IT. This is the first time a Smart Grid prototype complex have been assigned on a national level.
"For Korea to advance in the Smart Grid industry, Jeju must become the 'center of Smart Grid'." Governor Woo continued, "If Jeju becomes the model city, we can continue to improve renewable energy production technology and Smart Grid operation techniques." He continued to claim that designating a prototype model for the new Smart Grid technology would help mitigate the risks of policy failure as well. "After continuous request to enlarge subject area of the prototype model, the government has approved designation of Jeju City as the Smart Grid prototype."
Governor Woo has plans to continue this venture in order to create a "Smart Grid Island" by 2020. Not only will the corporations investing in this venture develop traditional Smart Grid technology, but will also continue to find new areas to improve and adapt this new technology, such as seawater desalination, livestock, aquiculture, electric cars and food areas. His plan is to pull Jeju Island into the world stage as the mecca of Smart Grid technology, and this seems to be turning a few heads.
Foreign investors, for one, are highly regarding the potential Jeju has for this venture. With a rich natural reserve, international tourist awareness and environmental resources suited for green growth, they are not mistaken. To capitalize on these interests, Jeju has adopted policies such as permanent residency for land investors, one-stop systems for investor companies and special tourist law cases for foreign investors. These policies earned them the President's Award as the topmost provincial government for foreign investment at the '2010 Foreign Corporation Day'.
China is especially interested in this new venture. Along with Maldives and Hawaii, Jeju Island was voted as the Island people wished to visit the most. Several measures are being undertaken to coerce Chinese investment and tourist attraction including business deals with KOTRA KBC (Korea Business Center) in Shanghai and various investment meetings with corporations. This also fits in nicely with Jeju Islands'; the goal is to receive two million tourists by 2014. To further aid Chinese tourists coming to Jeju, there will be six new direct flight lanes established including Shanghai and Beijing as well as exclusive restaurants for Chinese tourists.
The Jeju Smart Grid prototype venture is headed by 16 consortiums including LG, KT and SK along with over 100 corporations. The KRW 240 billion plan hopes to bring about a new era of development in the Korean peninsula, especially in renewable energy. Jeju Island hopes to replace around 30 percent of its traditional energy sources with renewable Smart Grid enabled power sources by 2030. The government aims to reduce carbon dioxide levels by 30 percent through these green-growth policies. The whole enterprise is comprised of five sections; Smart Place deals with construction of green homes and buildings, Smart Transportation will develop various electric car recharge stations, Smart Renewable which will increase effectiveness of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power, Smart Power Grid which will install future tech power grids and Smart Electricity Service which runs and operates the power distribution center. Currently the whole enterprise is at stage 1, which is developing and testing business models suited for consumers with approved new technology.
So in effect, what will these Smart Grids do for the residents of Jeju City Research shows that energy demand will decrease by 6~20 percent. Already Jeju citizens are experiencing reduced electric bills. Eco-friendly electric cars would make an appearance - reducing pollution significantly- and will bring about great change to Koreans all over the nation. There will certainly be economic benefits as well. Through increased research in Smart Grid green energy, energy exports may even be within reach for Jeju Island.
The world stage is being set for another contender in the Smart Grid game. A partnership with Illinois, one of the leading Smart Grid areas in the US, was made on November 9th 2010. This led to trading of advanced information of Smart Grid technology as well as experience. Works are under way to create a cooperation network between global green cities such as Masdar City, UAE and various other cities in Japan, China and Europe.
World Class Learning at Jeju Global Education City
The North London Collegiate School Jeju, or NLCS Jeju, will be among the first International Schools in Jeju to start the semester this fall. NLCS Jeju will be the first overseas campus of a prestigious private school originating in England. NLCS boasts a 160 year history with 40 percent of its graduates proceeding into universities such as Oxford and Cambridge and the US Ivy League universities. Students will follow a British Elementary and Secondary as well as Kindergarten education program based on NLCS's own curriculum. All courses including mathematics, art, sciences, history, geography, music and drama will be taught in English. The school fee is being set around KRW24 million to KRW28 million according to grade level.
However, a school like NLCS Jeju won't be the only top level international education provided in Jeju. Local international schools such as Korea International School, Jeju (KIS, Jeju) and esteemed schools worldwide such as Branksome Hall from Canada, St Albans School from the US, which are schools where even local students struggle for admission, are scheduled to open overseas campuses in the Global Education City, and they will introduce education programs and systems that have been approved after long periods of time in their parent schools. There are even inquiries from overseas Korean communities in London or Washington asking if these schools are really opening overseas campuses here.
KIS Jeju is a local international school run by the Korean education firm YBM Sisa, who were able to head this project thanks to their successful running of Korea International School in Pangyo and Gaepo. With over KRW40 billion in funding, the school will have a gross area of 29,000㎡ on a 39,000㎡ plot of land and initially will provide education for 504 students. Another important thing to note about KIS Jeju is that it is funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology resulting in 30 percent lower tuition fees, when compared to private international schools.
Students who graduate from international schools in the Global Education City will have their own domestically approved diploma as well as the respective diploma of their parent schools so they can advance into prestigious schools worldwide as well as in Korea. Students will be able to take international courses as well as learn about the Korean heritage as well. In effect, the range of universities, which the students can choose to advance into have been increased dramatically.
NLCS Jeju has plans to accommodate 634 students in the first year. Students in year 10 and 11 will go through IGCSE courses while year 12 and 13 students will work on courses for IB Diploma and Certificates. The IB course is an internationally accredited program where students take courses such as English, economics, sociology, physics and humanities and use the grades they got to advance into universities in the UK and the US. NLCS Jeju will use its tight curriculum and diverse activities to take its place as a world famous school.
To support the opening of several overseas and domestic international schools, there will be several state-of-the-art infrastructures in the Global Education City, including the first ever English government administration center in the country. With many world class schools in the same vicinity, it is hoped that they will create synergy through cooperation and competition. To facilitate this highly educational environment, plans are under way to accommodate them through setting the landscape, providing appropriate members of the community and shaping the environment.
The environment in particular is a key advantage that Jeju Island is promoting. With designations from UNESCO as world natural heritage, global geopark and biosphere reserve, students will have exciting opportunities to learn about their environment in one of the most beautifully preserved natural reserves. Also situated within close proximity to major East Asian cities such as Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul, it will surely act as the premier education hub for North East Asia. Even in this studious environment the cost will be around 30~50 percent less than studying at the same school abroad.
One of the key advantages the Jeju Global Education City has over studying abroad is lowering the burden for parents and students. First of all, students are able to benefit from the same education while staying in Korea, reducing problems such as culture shock, deviancy and loneliness. Parents will not have to spend copious amounts of money for tuition, boarding and other necessities. It seems that the 'Goose Fathers' of this country would be much better off if they can visit their family or children in Jeju than if they had to visit them in a different continent.
Jeju Health Care Town to be the Center of Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism is a relatively new concept in Korea. However Jeju city has great ambitions with its 5,100,000㎡ Jeju Health Care Town, the center of medical tourism of Korea. This enterprise, which includes a plan to build Wellness Park, Medical Park and R&D Park in the Seogwipo area is a joint collaboration between tourism (vacation), medicine and R&D and with an estimated project fund of almost KRW780 billion.
The venture will take three stages to complete, the completion of the aforementioned Wellness Park, Medical Park and R&D Park being the main landmarks of the project. The more relaxation and well-being centered Wellness Park will focus on beauty, preventive medicine, leisure and medical checkups. Jeju Islands' mysterious yet beautiful natural landscape will provide the perfect background for a sensual experience of rest and relaxation. "Heath" will be the main theme amongst the beauty salons, spas, thalassotherapy and resorts, where one can experience both healthcare and vacation at the same time.
The Medical Park will focus on diagnostics, treatment and specialist areas, thus creating a high-quality center for all medical concerns that require more extensive care. Other medical services such as plastic surgery and rehabilitation programs will be available as well. State-of-the-art medical services will be available here through expert medical teams and medical programs. The R&D Park will provide facilities for research and training such as biomedical labs and rehabilitation labs to strengthen the already potent medical service that is available.
Another important point is that the Jeju Health Care Town is not just another medical installation. Rather, it is part of an ongoing effort for convergence that is being sought after in Korea. This venture is a key point of collaboration where IT and medical services meet to create an IT propelled medical infrastructure. Following a deal with Posco ICT in November 2010, Jeju will see a ubiquitous infrastructure with security, housing and medical service convergence through the Jeju Smart-Health Care Town USP and basic design. Through this specialized U-Health infrastructure, Jeju plans to create a state-of-the-art medical tourist attraction leading to more funding for future projects. Following the world trend of green energy, the Jeju Health Care Town will also implement eco-friendly, low carbon solutions for energy. This will help protect the 8,000 bio-resource including 50 regenerative plant life that Jeju has to offer.
It would be untrue to say that Jeju is the only contender in this business however, and Jeju City decided to promote three advantages they have over other competitions; environmental, geographic and policy advantages. First of all as mentioned earlier, Jeju Island has been designated as an UNESCO world natural heritage, global geopark and biosphere reserve. Simply put Jeju Island is a beautiful island with much of its natural resources preserved. Secondly Jeju Island is situated geographically in the middle of Northeast Asia, just within two hours by plane from major cities such as Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing. There are five cities with a population of over 10 million and 61 cities with a population of over 1 million in this area. Thirdly, the Special Act on the Jeju Free International City allows the establishment of foreign medical facilities and foreign doctors license holders to practice medicine, as well as diverse tax reduction or exemption for investors. With the world medical industry developing into a convergence industry of tourism, recuperation and environment, Jeju is ready to have a go at the world stage.
Distinguished Duty Free Shopping in Jeju
As most shoppers know, Duty Free shopping centers are the place to buy gifts and necessities for friends and yourself. When travelling in Jeju, the JDC Duty Free Shops are the places to go for all your shopping needs. The first difference can be seen right away, as the JDC Duty Free Shops have adopted a department store layout than a more traditional roadside shop venue of typical airports. Although roadside shops could put on more exotic displays to promote their goods, JDC Shops have chosen to maximize their sales area in a grid formation, where all the goods on display can be seen at once.
Although duty free shops exist within the city as well, there are certain requirements such as passports and names of flights to take to make it an easy experience. However JDC Duty Free Shops have taken this inconvenience away and provides an easy, relaxed shopping center in the form of a semi-boutique for customers to shop for a variety of goods at affordable prices. In addition, customer support and care is of utmost importance for the JDC shops, with a separate 'Voice of the Customers' (VOC) channel for the shoppers to communicate with the shop, on and offline troubleshooting sections as well as information counters to provide assistance for whatever cases the customers might have. Clerks and salespersons will be trained to professional levels to provide high levels of service as well as keeping an ear open for customers' suggestions and maintaining monitoring systems to implement them.
Currently JDC Shops had a restriction that one person can buy no more than KRW 400,000 worth of goods six times a year. Following these restrictions JDC has decided to implement joint-developments of sales items and goods with manufacturers to bring special promotional sets that is 20~30 percent cheaper than even duty free goods. Currently a famous Italian fashion brand is taking advantage of this policy through no less than 7 promotion sets and there are plans to diversify goods that benefit by this system including spirits and other fashion items.