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Subject Dr. Lee Byung Gwon Reappointed as KIST President (2017.03.03)
Date 2017-03-03 Read 798
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Dr. Lee Byung Gwon Reappointed as KIST President

 


On March 3, the National Research Council of Science and Technology (NST) announced the reappointment of the current President of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), Dr. Lee Byung Gwon, to a second term.


President Lee earned a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Seoul National University’s Department of Chemical Engineering in 1982, and he later received a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from USA’s University of Akron (1989). He joined KIST in 1982 and served as director of the Energy and Environmental Research Division, director of the Research Planning and Coordination Division, and vice president of KIST before finally taking up his current role as the organization’s president.


The board of directors decided upon his reappointment after the institute was rated “very good” by the Korean government’s mission-oriented organizational evaluation for the three years he was in office. President Lee’s reappointment marks the initial implementation of the Korean government’s efforts to reward*, through offers of reappointment, heads of organizations that receive high evaluation scores.


*Article 12(6) of the Act on the Establishment, Operation and Promotion of Government-Funded Research Institutions in Science and Technology (provision newly established on May 28, 2014).

 
During his first three-year term, KIST greatly expanded its Open Research Program (ORP), which was designed to address such globally-significant social issues as the early detection of dementia, integrated green tide removal technology, plant factories, avian influenza prevention technology, quantum computing, and nano neuron network mimicry. As a result of the ORP, KIST has made major achievements in each of these areas, especially when it comes to new technology allowing for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s via a simple blood test―technology expected to generate approx. 330 billion KRW in royalties.

 
In addition, KIST greatly strengthened its cooperative ties with academia by installing four joint research laboratories: two in Seoul National University (next-generation functional connectomes and artificial photosynthesis materials), one in KAIST (next-generation deep learning algorithm), and one in POSTECH (quantum computing). By combining mutually complementary research capabilities, KIST is working to secure world-class excellence.

 
KIST’s excellence in research has been recognized internationally, such as when Reuters ranked it as the world’s 6th most innovative research institution for two years in a row (2016 and 2017). Furthermore, the Outstanding National R&D Outcomes list published by the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning included more projects from KIST than from any other institution: eight KIST projects in 2015 and six in 2016.

 
President Lee Byung Gwon will begin his second term on March 13. KIST, a government-funded research institution under the NST, was founded in 1966 to conduct R&D on creative new technologies that could be disseminated to local industries and serve as the driving force for Korea’s S&T sector.

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