Interview with KISTI e-Science Division director Byeon Ok-hwan
Interview with KISTI e-Science Division director Byeon Ok-hwan
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  • 승인 2007.09.11 14:05
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Q: First off, please touch upon current KISTI's e-Science projects under way and e-Science's desirable development direction.

A: Current KISTI's e-Science projects under way break down into two parts such as national e-Science construction project and KISTI Top Brand project. Starting from March, 2005, e-Science project has been proceeding over two and half years in the meanwhile while being carried out pilotly and with a small scale due to limited financial resources problem. However from the year 2009, e-Science project will be propelled with a large and international scale by teaming up with special research institutes such as KRIBB (Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology) and KARI (Korea Aerospace Research Institute) from the standpoint of selection and concentration among others.

Q: In your opinion, can it be said that Korea is right now leading e-Science globally

A: e-Science advanced countries have been carrying out their e-Science projects from already 10 years ago till the year 2005, thereby crossing to full-scale investment stage from the year 2006 the nation invests in earnest. For reference in the case of the United States, NSF [National Science Foundation] attaches e-Science as the most priority project that represents one generation, investing one fourth of the entire foundation budget intensively besides a total of nationwide 50 research fields in which approx. 500 billion won [US$533 million] is invested.

England that used e-Science terminology for the first time, has reached to a stage which creates already industrial value-added in the field of medical treatment and aviation. Japan also forecast: "In case that the country will boost the efficiency of the most cutting-edge research such as biotechnology and nanotechnology through NAREGI project, it will bring economic ripple effect over 4 trillion yen."

Korea's e-Science level has been up in recent years thanks to strong sub-infrastructure, but it is a fact that the level of science technology itself or manpower is inferior to the most advanced countries. Yet it is possible for Korea to construct e-Science research environment in an early period because we possess the highest level's IT technology power in the world plus excellent national science technology competitiveness.

Q: In order to maximize e-Science's performance, international mutual assistance with advanced countries seems to be a key point.

A: Right. In that respect, KISTI is strong in terms of global partnership as we have been collaborating by teaming up with 30 institutes of 20 countries from the beginning of the 2000's, in other words from the Grid period in the past.

However to maximize further the performance of e-Science research, we should do selection and concentration's investment in e-Life Science, e-Physics, e- Engineering and e- Geoscience etc.

As for our vulnerable point, we are weak in terms of strength to lead the whole community. Secondly, there are not yet large project announced owing to small scale budget in part. Thirdly, domestic researchers show closed research trait, thereby hampering collaboration research to a certain degree, the motto of science technology.

If we complement such weak points, I am confident that our e-Science will be able to bloom.

Q: How is the relative importance of e-Science Division within KISTI

A: In terms of our expectation portion, e- Science Division is one of major five businesses within KISTI. Yet beyond that because e-Science Division goes with the identity of KISTI together, the expectation from the outside is awfully high. As KISTI holds excellent research capacity to be able to construct e-Science research environment such as national dimension's high-performance research network, the US NSF level's application software, and databases, we plan to diffuse unique our e-Science model to the advanced countries.

In that regard, I suppose that governmental support also is pivotal to help e- Science project be activated even more. As to a question on how many wealth could e-Science bring us, it is difficult to state in figures, but it must be to reach astronomical figures.

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