A Leap Toward the Future Creating an Innovative R&D model
- Date : 20-12-31
- Views : 218
Least developed among developing countries are following the footsteps of South Korea in terms of national growth path. India, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other nations have been putting pressure on South Korea with their ebullient growth, under an already difficult economic situation owing to the presence of China, which has become the world’s manufacturing center. To make matters worse, the United States and China are narrowing Korea’s position amidst the fight for global technical and economic dominance without considering the catastrophes it might cause, in an attempt to achieve the upper hand in the fourth industrial revolution, which will change the framework of global industry and economy. Japan’s targeting of the core components and materials of South Korea’s flagship industry is slowing down the South Korean growth as well. Hence, a Korean research and development model (K-R&D) should be commenced to ensure the future competitiveness of the nation.
KIST has presented scientific and technological solutions to national issues by building national R&D platforms, which cannot be achieved by other universities or companies. KIST aims to create large-scale research outcomes with great economic and social ripple effects and discover future growth engines based on science and technology, as well as pursue a centripetal role of national R&D by becoming a hub of open innovation and convergence research.？
To achieve this, the establishment of new Korean R&D is essential. The 97% success rate of government R&D, which has long been controversial, is actually an inherent vice of South Korean R&D. The close to 100 success rate of government R&D means that the focus is on short-term performance, thus more challenging and creative research cannot be conducted. To produce world-class research outcomes, it is therefore necessary to boldly eliminate the ranking-focused evaluations that solely focus on the number of published papers and change the research evaluation system from a quantitative to a qualitative one.
？Based on such progress at the research level, we should also strive to be a leader in research and development that will support the future society. To this end, KIST has introduced its “grand chal lenge to conduct research in uncharted territories, unsolved research, and the world’s first attempted research.” The goal is to foster 10 world-class research teams by 2030 through the Reformed K-Lab Project, which recognizes and rewards challenging failures as diligent efforts. At the same time, it is hoped that an organizational culture without fear of failure will be permanently settled in KIST.
Finally, there is one more desired blueprint for the future of KIST, i.e., to create an “on-site industry cooperation model,” in which the research outcomes of the government-funded research institutes can be directly linked to the outcomes of industry. In the 10 stages ranging from basic source technology to industrialization, the typical government-funded research institutes and companies are stalled at stage 4 or 5, without passing through the so-called “Death Valley.” If the commercialization of the source technology is achieved in stage 8 or 9, beyond the Death Valley, based on the new on-site cooperation model, a virtuous cycle of industry？university research cooperation will be possible.
Although I have been the leader of KIST for less than a year, I hope that the future I am currently dreaming about will become the cornerstone of the progress made by KIST 10 to 20 years in the future. Furthermore, I hope that this will help build an ecosystem for R&D industry and research innovation.