President Kang Gye-doo of Daedeok Innopolis visited the Seoul Foreign Correspondents' Club on December 9 to announce his organization's privilege to host the 2010 International Association of Science Parks (IASP) conference in May of 2010. He gave an interesting opening speech, summarizing first the history of Daedeok Innopolis, its role in an innovation ecosystem, and its cooperation with other research institutes and science parks. Then he explained the significance of the IASP event in 2010, and opened the floor for questions.
President Kang reminded everyone that Daedeok Innopolis is one of the oldest science parks in Korea, and was founded in 1973. "The original science park is evolving into a full-fledged cluster today. We are involved in high-level discussions with international partners concerning the next step in our evolution." He mentioned that the park was the headquarters for the World Technopolis Association, which he explained was a coalition of science parks working together to create better collaboration strategies. He also again mentioned the IASP international conference as another example of high-level cooperation.
The IASP conference will focus on strategies for international collaboration, which is part of Daedeok Innopolis' emerging role as an innovation cluster for the entire world. For the first time, the IASP will focus on the environment. There will be a debate on what Global Green Growth means and how it affects the world. The goal of the event is to make a Daedeok Declaration on environmentally-friendly issues similar to the Copenhagen Conference.
President Kang also spoke about new offerings at Daedeok Innopolis. "Our new Tech Biz Center provides one-stop assistance for legal, technical and business issues and provides spaces for international companies. In 2011 we will open a Technology Convergence Center that will facilitate communication between R&D and production sites." He also extended an invitation to foreign investors, saying that there were a number of programs of which they could take advantage.
Afterwards, the President opened the floor to questions. One journalist asked about the role that convergence plays in Daedeok's research. Mr. Kang answered by saying that the major focus of Daedeok is, and has been, Information Technology, so convergence technologies are an important part of their work.
Another journalist asked about the automobile industry and how it relates to Daedeok. He said that the auto industry is still very important to Korea, but that Daedeok Innopolis didn't seem to be concerned with it. Mr. Kang answered him by saying that the fields of IT and autos were getting closer and closer together, and that Daedeok Innopolis had been involved in developing better lithium-ion batteries for electric cars, and also other computerized technologies to make cars run faster.
President Kang closed by once again speaking about the importance of collaboration. He said, "As Daedeok hits its stride, it is taking on a global role as a cluster that has international impact." Most research institutes, according to Mr. Kang, enter into complex alliances globally to leverage their technologies. On the Korean side this includes the Korea Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology, who has linked together with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in developing liver cancer treatments. It also includes KAIST, which has joined together with Neurosky; and ETRI, which is working with Norsat.