저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
Since the late 1990s, the Korean economy has been experiencing slow growth. Consequently, the government is striving to revive the economy by substantially improving the nation's expertise in science and technology. In harmony with the government's efforts, the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) is also striving to join the ranks of global R&D support organizations. In 2005, it expanded the horizons of its activities to support not only basic studies, but also large-scale and fundamental R&D programs such as the national and nuclear R&D programs. As a result, the annual budget of KOSEF in 2005 exceeded US$1 billion to carry out its expanded role.
Following the enactment of the law for the establishment of the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation in 1976, KOSEF was founded in Hongneung, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul in 1977, and in 1983 it moved to Daedeok Science Town. Earlier this year, it implemented the National R&D Programs and Nuclear R&D Programs, and accordingly its annual budget for R&D support exceeded US$1 billion. At present it comprises three bureaus, eight divisions, and 140 staff members. The three bureaus are: the Bureau of Research Promotion, the Bureau of Basic Research, and he Bureau of National R&D.
To be a frontrunner at all times and to develop the nation's future growth engines, KOSEF has driven management innovation by firstly, continuously updating its midand long-term development plans in order to become an effective R&D support organization. Also, the 'Innovation Advisory Committee' was formed to offer advice on further innovation of programs and management at KOSEF. Secondly, operating the Customer Service Center, it gears its operations toward customers by offering more than what is asked. To ensure objectivity and fairness in responding to complaints against services offered by KOSEF, it launched the 'Ombudsman Program' to which independent experts such as lawyers are invited from outside KOSEF.
Thirdly, in order to provide more efficient services for R&D management and information, it operates the 'Digital R&D Administration System - the first developed for Korean R&D communities.
It also developed the U-KOSEF (Ubiquitous-KOSEF) system, renewing itself as one of the most advanced R&D support organizations in the world. Finally, the selective results of R&D programs, funded with KOSEF's budget of over US$1 billion, are gathered into a comprehensive and systematic DB, which serves to develop key performance indices (KPI), promotion of its applications, publications of outstanding results, etc.
In an effort to pave the way toward the future of Korea's science and technology, KOSEF is conducting basic science research programs, national R&D programs, nuclear R&D programs, international cooperation programs, and research promotion programs. These key programs focus on strengthening Korea's science and technology infrastructure, thus improving Korea's future competitiveness, securing advanced nuclear technology, advancing Korea's science and technology to a world-class level, and finally cultivating excellent human resources in science and technology. Meanwhile, particularly noteworthy, since it exchanged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on science and technology cooperation with the U.S. National Science Foundation, Korea has been expanding cooperative relationships with 52 R&D support organizations in 35 nations. Taking advantage of this framework of international partnership, KOSEF is now supporting cooperative activities such as joint research, seminars, and exchanges between Korean and foreign scientists. In 2005, it added the science and technology globalization program to support outstanding international cooperation projects that contribute to creating advanced scientific knowledge and stateof- the-art technologies.