저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
Technological Exchanges and Cooperation Needed in Zone Following several analysis articles on the significance of the Daedeok R&D Special Zone, its infrastructure's strengths, goals set by 2015, and the development direction etc. the Korea IT Times held a series of interviews with leaders in the Daedeok R&D Special Zone.
At the center of Daedeok Valley's development activities are Cho Young-hwa, chairman of the Daedeok Science Town Association (DSTA) plus ETRI president Yim Chu-hwan who devotes his efforts on continuous innovation performance, IITA president Kim Tae-hyun who heads in a differentiated direction with priority given to R&D, KOSEF which paves the way to the future for Korea's science & technology, KARI that proclaimed Korea's first year of space development, KEPRI which speeds up cooperation & collaboration, the National Nanofab Center, a powerful source constructed in Daedeok nano belt, and Daedeok College which is operating on a three-semester system distinctively compared with other universities. -Ed.
Daedeok Science Town is an ideal cluster that is composed of about 60 large institutions such as a college, government-run institutions and corporate research centers. And along with these institutions possessing advanced technology and know-how accumulated over the past 30 years, around 800 hightech firms are clustered in this valley. Last March, the heads of 56 major bodies in the science town organized an Exchange and Cooperation Committee for Daedeok R&D Zone in an effort to seek effective measures to speed up the establishment of a special R&D zone. At the center of all these activities is Cho Young-hwa, chairman of the Daedeok Science Town Association (DSTA), who is concurrently president of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI). Recently, the Korea IT Times conducted an interview with DSTA chairman Cho, and asked about KISTI's efforts toward setting up the Daedeok R&D Zone, DSTA's recent activities, and the desirable future direction for the science valley.
KISTI pursuing e-Science Environment
KISTI, which is operating a superhighway research network at the national level, is trying to exchange a large amount of information through the Internet among universities, research institutes, and enterprises, jointly using their research equipment like supercomputers and research manpower, and consequently creating a cyber research environment for collaboration. Specifically, at present the seven major institutions - including the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chungnam National University, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) are jointly using a SuperSiren network that is connected at a speed of 10 Gbps. However, KISTI plans to expand this SuperSiren network throughout the entire Daedeok R&D Zone, thus trying to create an e-Science environment, which is usually called a next generation research environment or 'dream environment.'
KISTI's other important goal is to expand the use of high-tech research equipment, the supercomputer. Nowadays, supercomputer power is the key criterion in judging the level of a nation's science and technology. A supercomputer is used for a large capacity of super speed operation and simulation. KISTI's supercomputing center is running a worldclass supercomputer of 4.3 Teraflops. In order to enable more organizations to use this supercomputer, KISTI is trying to publicize how to use the supercomputer as well as strengthening awareness and education on its potential usage.
'Exchange and Cooperation Committee' for Daedeok R&D Zone
In an effort to discover effective measures for a successful Daedeok R&D Zone, DSTA, which is composed of 56 heads of major institutions, has organized the Exchange and Cooperation Committee for Daedeok R&D Zone, along with four subcommittees organized on the basis of features of the institutes and organizations. For the past five months, the subcommittees have met ten times, thus actively exchanging ideas and opinions, giving explanations of Daedeok R&D Zone, and inviting experts for the seminars. Through these meetings, members in the science valley are preparing some projects to create a new community culture.
In July, DSTA conducted a survey among 56 member organizations to collect and analyze their diverse opinions on a successful Daedeok R&D Zone.
According to the results of the survey, the first problem that emerged is that member institutions should avoid excessive competition among institutions. The second issue is to establish amenities for a better cultural environment. And then efforts to understand and utilize other organizations' R&D should be made, by trying to share information and research equipment.
Desirable Future Direction for Daedeok Science Town
For the establishment of a successful cluster, priority should be placed on the synergy effects through active exchanges and cooperation among industry, academia, and R&D bodies. Daedeok Science Valley is composed of about 60 large institutions with a history of more than 30 years, including the college, government-run institutions, and corporate research institutes. Also capitalizing on these institutes' technology and know-how, about 800 high-tech companies are clustered in the science valley. Accordingly, if the members of Daedeok Science Valley can create synergy effects through mutual exchanges and cooperation, it will accomplish many excellent achievements, thus playing the role of a growth engine for the Korean economy.
Formation of Sustainable Virtuous Cycle Structure
In the case of a government-led cluster like Daedeok R&D Zone, the central government or the local government has to provide positive support until the cluster is well-established and has reached a certain level of commercialization. If Daedeok R&D Zone goes into normal orbit, it will be able to grow naturally. To this end, the formation of sustainable virtuous cycles is very important. First, the universities have to foster human resources on the basis of custom-made education, so that the research institutes and companies may employ suitably-qualified graduates and make use of such manpower immediately after graduation. Also, the research institutes will continue to develop advanced technologies, subsequently transferring them to the enterprises. Then, the enterprises that have received those advanced technologies will push ahead with the commercialization and marketing of those technologies.
Three-Stage Formation of Amenity Environment
The focus of global competition is now moving from the stage of competition between countries and enterprises to competition among clusters. Because of this, more efforts should be concentrated on building an excellent cluster environment. First, in order to build an excellent research environment, much high-tech research equipment and highclass manpower should be jointly used by means of a super-speed research network in cyberspace. Secondly, quality of life of an international level should be provided in terms of residential accommodation, medical services, and education, so that global companies may be easily attracted. Finally, a superb business environment that can provide joint marketing and onestop consulting service for the venture businesses has to be made so that many companies may flock to this high-tech cluster. This is the three-stage amenity environment.
Some Other Important Tasks to Grow As a World-class Cluster For the past 30 years, Daedeok Science Town has grown as a research town of basic science. And most venture businesses in the science town have been established by researchers. Therefore, those ventures have excellent technology, but have little knowledge and experience of commercialization.
In order to complement these weak points, the following four tasks should be resolved: First, a system for technology evaluation, feasibility tests, and marketability evaluation should be established to effectively judge the technology possessed by the corresponding venture businesses.
Secondly, a system that enables technology transfer from the research institutes should be established. Thirdly, consulting services for marketing, management, law, and finance should be offered; and finally more concrete measures to induce capital into the venture business have to be taken.