Not only by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), but from a national dimension, e-Science must be propelled in the light of the importance of its national significance.
Such an opinion was echoed with one voice in a forum regarding national e- Science development strategy, held on August 24 at the Westin Chosun Seoul under the supervision of KISTI and under the joint auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Korea e-Science Forum.
Then, what indeed is e-Science It is a cutting-edge cyber research environment to improve research productivity by utilizing high-performance computers and state-of-the-art research equipment, large capacity data storage, and research manpower at the same time while using cutting- edge IT technology and a high-performance research network.
In order to use cutting-edge equipment, researchers traditionally had to visit an area where there is relevant equipment in an established research environment, or directly store large amounts of necessary data through storage, or do R&D by meeting appropriate collaboration partners firsthand.
However, once an e-Science research environment is established, researchers come to be able to carry out their desired R&D any time, any where without any restriction of time and space. e-Science provides researchers with a virtual space for them to be able to work with researchers all over the world while jointly utilizing high-priced research equipment such as supercomputers scattered throughout the world and astronomical telescopes. They can also transfer large amounts of information such as genome data quickly.
But above all things, R&D activity is rapidly changing into e-Science system. Namely, research activity's paradigm shift is occurring nowadays since IT infrastructure's utilization in research is an inevitable consequence in a circumstance where currently R&D is transferred to Data Centric large scale research. In conjunction with this, e-Science experts epitomize: "The necessity of national e-Science is becoming more & more important because of its new research method which challenges huge applications and research in limited environments, improvement in research productivity which enables us to utilize research resource at remote places and collaborate between researchers, education learning trait which enables diverse learning equipment's utilization with networked studying environment, and finally economic development's new growth engine with cutting-edge technology innovation." As regarding e-Science's expectation, e-Science boosts the level of research outcome rapidly through participation, opening, and sharing. R&D time and expense are diminished over several tens or hundreds of times. For instance, the development period of new drugs is reduced by over half, and its expense is only 1%. Secondly, by working together with distinguished world scholars based on an e-Science research environment, e- Science enables large global research projects in the fields of aerospace development, nuclear fusion research, and tsunami or SARS prevention which have been difficult to try in the past.
Thirdly, e-Science can exert the core influence on boosting national science technology competitiveness by developing a new methodology model in which IT and science technologies are converged by securing convergence research's core technology.
Fourthly, e-Science can solve science technology disproportion between nations, regions and fields in that the researchers can have access to cuttingedge equipment, data and research manpower offered from national dimensions through e-Science. Touching upon a fact that foreign e- Science advanced countries don't go before us awfully, KISTI President Yang Byung-tae stressed that Korea can be on a par with them within a fast period if we drive forward e-Science projects ambitiously according to distinct national e- Science vision. Yang asked many interest and advice in 'National e-Science project', explaining that e-Science project is the most preferential project that represents one generation.
e-Science Division director Byeon Okhwan of KISTI who made a keynote presentation that day regarding national e- Science project's propulsion progress and chief outcomes, said: "Advanced countries such as the United States [Cyberinfrastructure], Japan [NAREGI], and England [e-Science] are driving forward national e-Science projects as their core task for the sake of boosting national competitiveness."
He has committed himself to improve research productivity by building an e- Science environment equal to the US, England, Germany and Japan by 2011. Korea's possibility of success in e- Science is appearing to be very high thanks to excellent national science technology competitiveness, the best level of IT technology power in the world, excellent research capacity in the e-Science research environment, and the fact that we possess grid core technology, the core technology for building e-Science research environment.
National e-Science project's propulsion progress and major outcome
Starting from e-Science feasibility survey research on February 2003 in the light of experiences from the US, England and Japan, Korea's national e-Science construction project began in 2005 centering around KISTI under the initiative of MOST.
By investing a total of 6.5 billion won (US$ 693,000) from last 2005 through this year, our country is proceeding the 1st stage pilot project of 'National e- Science environment construction'. The middle and long-term roadmap for building e- Science application environment is as follows: From 2005 through 2007, e-Science pilot application research environment construction and from 2008 through 2011, e-Science special application research environment and technology support center construction.
The e-Science project is being connected with KISTI's Top Brand project from 2007 and advanced level e-Science environment construction will be completed after the year 2012, according to KISTI. Regarding major performances of national e-Science project to date, e- Science common software development, aerospace field e-Science pilot construction, HVEM e-Science pilot construction, new medicine material development e- Science pilot construction, weather field e-Science pilot construction, nano field e- Science pilot construction, e-HEP(High Energy Physics) e-Science pilot construction, and e-Science visualization service technology development can be mentioned. First of all about e-Science in new drug development, Professor No Kyoung-tai, Yonsei University points out on that day Forum: "Rapid technological advances made in discovering and developing new drugs. Nevertheless, a number of important diseases still remain largely untreated or poorly treated."
Touching upon next 20 years in biology and medicine, he said that the digitalization of biology and medicine will constitute a far greater revolution than the digitalization of information technologies. In reference to aerospace field's e- Science construction/utilization example, Professor Kim Chong-am, Seoul National University notes: "e-Science environment construction in science technology field including aerospace will serve as a significant turning point of science technology development in Korea."
By means of e-AIRS (e-Science Aerospace Integrated Research System), Korea's aerospace field has been groping so far aerospace e-Science groundwork construction in 2005, aerospace e-Science groundwork extension, and aerospace e- Science use enlargement in 2007, according to Kim.
Thirdly in connection with e-HEP (High Energy Physics) research environment pilot construction, Dr. Kim Hyunwoo, KISTI e-Science Division, maintains that only e-Science is the sole solution in modern high energy physics experiment.
For reference, High Energy Physics thru KISTI e-Science bore fruit in the fields of ALICE Tier2 Data Center construction and service, international joint research by taking part in the US Fermilab CDF experiment, KISTI (Korea)-CNRS (France) joint research, and e-Science collaboration research environment through attracting EVO (Enabling Virtual Organization) system into Korea for the first time.
National e-Science development strategy
In a Forum regarding National e- Science Development Strategy held in the afternoon that day, many dignitaries shined the debate by taking part in large numbers with keen interest at firsthand including KISTI President Yang Byungtae, MOST Vice Minister Chung Yoon, KOSEF Chairman and CEO Choi Seoksik, and Korea Research Council of Public Science & Technology chairman Choi Young-rak and KISTI president Yang Byung-tae.
Professor Cho Man-hyung of Hannam University asserts in a nutshell about the necessity of national strategy for e- Science, "It is to boost the future science technology competitiveness with a new R&D paradigm."
By means of cutting-edge technology innovation, this national e-Science can serve as a new growth engine of economic development, provoking astronomical economic ripple effect, he said. Nevertheless the present condition of our national e-Science project is showing national e-Science vision and policy insufficiency, e-Science propulsion and cooperation system's inadequacy, national dimension's e-Science investment shortage, e-Science culture and community inferiority, and e-Science related project's connection insufficiency.
Furthermore, experts are concerned that the budget for the second stage project is not still being secured and national strategy is not being established. In conjunction with such problems, e-Science experts insist as national e-Science strategy task: "National e-Science vision and policy direction's establishment, pan-ministerial national e-Science propulsion system's construction, the government's strategic e-Science project's development and investment and e-Science culture and community formation are urgent."
Professor Jeong Karp-joo, Konkuk University, also expressed same thought saying: "In the light of oversea e-Science movement including the US' NSF Cyberinfrastructure, national dimension's e-Science vision and goal is absent in the case of Korea's e- Science/Cyberinfrastructure." Likewise, same opinions were poured out one after another.
In relation to e-Science's development direction, many opinions were presented that it must be propelled powerfully with the government's initiative, for instance by center director Bhak Jong-ha, Korean Bioinformation Center, and KRIBB. KAIST's Professor Kwon Jang-hyuk also agreed with such an opinion. Keeping an eye on China which gives chase to us awfully, he predicts that Korea will be faced in a very difficult environment after 10 ~20 years.
In that context, he said that e-Science or super-computing will be able to play a considerable role for Korea to overcome such difficulties.
With regard to demand-based e- Science project propulsion, Dr. Son Byung-ho, KISTEP, said: "e-Science must be developed from established supply-oriented to demand-oriented direction and further from domestic researcher-centered network to global network."
If we start to think of demand, panministerial synthetic propulsion system is necessary including diverse cyber community, Son added. British Embassy's Science & Innovation manager Mr. Choi Hark, on the other hand, attracted interest by saying that England is opening the door to international collaboration research with Korea etc. for the sake of oversea cooperation strengthening.
Following its five year e-Science project's successful completion from 2001 through 2006, it is said that England has embarked upon the country's second stage project into society science field etc. by investing 550 billion won (approx. US$ 590 million), according to Choi.
From the government side, director Kim Jae-shik, basic research support division, MOST said that MOST will do its best to allow a dream of science technology advanced country to be came true so that all nations can enjoy their happy life.
He added that national e-Science construction project maximizes science technology R&D efficiency. Kim underlined that the government will construct e-Science environment in earnest from 2008 with a view to constructing e-Science environment of advanced country level by 2011.
From its discussion floor too that day as floor opinion, many participants urged early commencement of e-Science construction strategy establishment from the government level.