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Interview Highlight IMID/IDMC 2006 in Daegu paves way toward fully-fledged global academic conference The IMID/IDMC 2006 (The 6th International Meeting on Information Display & The 5th International Display Manufacturing Conference) which will be held on Aug. 22~25, 2006 in EXCO, Daegu, Korea, is expected to provide Korea with a good opportunity to examine what it must do to maintain international competitiveness in the display industry. Korean display manufacturers have been taking the fight to their foreign competitors in the meanwhile. However, in recent years Taiwanese and Japanese advances are conspicuous in both the LCD and PDP fields. According to Prof. Whang Ki-woong of Seoul National University and chairman of IMID/IDMC 2006, such fierce competition with foreign manufacturers allows Korea the chance to assess what Korean manufacturers must do for Korea to maintain its No. 1 position, First off, as to the environment and trends at home and abroad related to this IMID/IDMC 2006, Taiwanese companies advanced by capturing the small size monitor market with 5~6G lines, aimed to capture the large-sized TV market with 7~7.5G lines. In the case of PDPs as well, Japan's Matsushita snatched the No.1 position from Korea by carrying out bold investments, Whang explained, adding that this shows there is no eternal first place. No shortcuts to developing core technology Accordingly, Whang pointed out that in order for Korea to maintain technological superiority, a national long-term plan and support are indispensable in the light of this industry's importance, explaining that currently in the information display field, competition is intensifying with cost reduction and technology innovation as a popular topic of conversation. In particular, the professor stressed the importance of localization of equipment parts and material in addition to the independence of the core technology plus nurturing of skilled human resources. Whang maintained that the government should for instance carry out as national-policy projects the R&D fields with large hazard burdens or where development time takes too long. In relation to the core technology particularly, Whang said that the core technology cannot be accomplished in a day, pointing out that even though we start its nurturing from now on, it is never too late, given the relative importance of the core technology. Furthermore, he underscored that without the core technology, it would be difficult to maintain competition, adding that Korea must invest in core technology since the Korean industry's phase is became higher internationally. He said he is saddened by the fact that there is no value-added since Korea's dependency on foreign countries is considerably high in terms of processing equipment or major parts. In that regard, he asserts that the government must strive to improve on this issue, recognizing such problems. The prime mover to further international collaboration As for neighboring competing countries' circumstances, the professor says that China is still insufficient in terms of LCD technology power, explaining that China cannot realistically become a major player for the time being since it will not be able to raise the level of its LCD industry if Korea, Taiwan or Japan do not provide China with technology. As regards collaboration with them, Whang cautioned that it is necessary to develop with a joint goal by all means with a view to covering weak points, explaining that there is a competition between devices too, such as which is better between LCD and PDP, like a competition between countries. About the direction display will be proceeded in future, the professor explains: "In terms of display's performance, established CRT is tipped as an ideal display, but it does not satisfy today's diverse needs because display's volume is big, weighty and its electricity consumption also is great." Accordingly, the research that wishes to develop next-generation large-size displays which are thin, light and whose electricity consumption like flexible display is low, is under way all over the world, he said. He added that IMID/IDMC wishes to hold an international academic rally successfully which is great not only in terms of its contribution degree of science development in the fields of display, information expression, next-generation PC, portable terminal and DMB, but also can secure national competitiveness. For the future, he forecasted that this IMID/IDMC academic conference would be transformed anew into a fully-fledged global academic conference, thereby increasing exchanges between an educationalindustrial complex and laboratories based on such ripple effects at home and abroad and become the prime mover to expedite international collaboration through personal exchanges. IMID/IDMC as an international academic conference Concerning the necessity of international meetings and conferences like 2006 IMID/IDMC, Whang explained: "By holding international academic conferences autonomously, we can reduce our dependence on overseas international academic conferences and make globalization of our domestic information display industry a reality earlier." In the past, it was a fact that there were many cases for domestic small parts material as well as equipment manufacturers not to seize the opportunities to publicize their products worldwide, as it is due to invisible barriers to global advances like huge exhibition operation costs. By hosting IMID at home, which concurrently operates an academic presentation rally of international scale and exhibition by participating companies, has proved that this international conference can solve such existing difficulties sufficiently, Whang said. Especially, Whang is keeping a watchful eye on the fact that the U.S. Society of Information Display (SID) has requested joint hosting from last year since IMID/IDMC is taking root as an international academic conference as its registration persons and presentation papers are increasing greatly year after year. Second, Prof. Whang predicted: "By attracting global experts to Korea, IMID/IDMC would be able to contribute to the global display industry as well as technology development and enhance Korea's technology, thereby allowing Korea to secure the world display industry's opinion leadership position through a variety of programs such as LCD standardization, workshops regarding display intellectual property right and LCD market analysis conferences." Thirdly, he drew attention to the fact that by hosting it in a provincial city like Daegu, IMID/IDMC would be able to contribute to small manufacturers parts material industry's national balanced development associated with display.