KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products Holds Ceremony to Commemorate 20th Anniversary (May 10, 2023)
- Date : 2023-06-01
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International Cooperation Team
KIST Gangneung Institutes of Natural Products Holds Ceremony to Commemorate 20th Anniversary
On May 10th, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that a ceremony had been held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products (Director General: Joon-Yeon Chang).
More than 100 key figures attended the ceremony, including Tae-Seok Oh, the first Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, Bok-Chul Kim, Chairman of the National Research Council of Science & Technology, Jin-Tae Kim, Governor of Gangwon Province, and Hong-Kyu Kim, Mayor of Gangneung.
The KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products was established on May 1, 2003 to play a leading role in local science and technology innovation for the government’s balanced regional development.
For the past 20 years, the KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products has been striving to build the only natural product research platform in Korea through efforts which have included establishing an innovative platform for natural product research, upgrading Big Data and AI-based natural product research, and proposing a Korean smart farm model.
KIST’s Gangneung institute is striving to create new natural product bio industries and attract companies through cooperation with the industry, academia, and research communities in Gangwon-do, as well as by actively supporting 53 KIST family companies in the region. In 2022, it achieved 1.76 billion won in technology royalty income, and research productivity, a type of technology royalty income, was 5.5%, more than double the annual average, making it a successful model for the local branch.
As the only research institute for natural products in Korea, KIST Gangneung aims to develop medical foods and derma cosmetics from natural products that are tailored to personal health, develop new drugs derived from natural products, and produce functional natural materials through its smart farms.
KIST Gangneung is also highly involved in various other initiatives to develop the region. For instance, to change the paradigm of natural product research, a web-based natural product active data portal (NPIfinder) that can search for natural product functionality prediction information was established and went into operation in 2022.
In addition, to enable the region to produce globally recognized outcomes, KIST Gangneung is involved with projects such as the Yonsei University Future Campus and various other academic-specific convergence research projects, with the goal of identifying the causes of diseases in the elderly using community cohort data.
Furthermore, KIST Gangneung is closely cooperating with local research institutes to establish the Scripps Korea Antibody Institute and develop various antibody and natural product fusion therapies, and the Chuncheon Bio Industry Promotion Agency, Gangwon Green Bio Korean Hemp Platform and Industrialization R&D, and Cosmetic Material Industrial Platforms are also being built.
In March, the city of Gangneung contributed greatly to being selected as a candidate for the Natural Products Bio National Industrial Complex, and in the future, the KIST Gangneung Natural Products Research Institute will become a hub for growing Gangwon Province into a base for the natural products bio industry.
During the ceremony, Heung-Yeol Kim, Head of the Gangneung Natural Bio National Industrial Complex, gave an introduction of the facility and how it will develop Gangneung and secure new growth engines, and Joon-Yeon Chang, Director-General of KIST Gangneung, presented on the history of the institute’s growth and future vision.
Dr. Chang also spoke about the KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products Vision 2033, and said that the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety aims to develop three individually recognized health functional foods by 2023, two globally recognized medicines by 2028, and one new globally recognized medicine by 2033.
Tae-Seok Oh, the first Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and ICT, praised the hard work of the employees who had devoted themselves to KIST, saying, "The 20 years of KIST Gangneung’s history perfectly parallel the history of local science and technology."
Other proceedings at the event included Hak-Cheol Kwon, the Head of the Natural Product Informatics Research Center, receiving a commendation from the Ministry of Science and ICT, while Ju-Young Lee, a principal researcher, was awarded the Chairman's Prize from the National Research Council of Science & Technology. In total, eight individuals were honored with awards at the ceremony.
Regarding the event, Dr. Chang said, "The KIST Gangneung Institute of Natural Products plans to lead natural product bio-research, produce geriatric and chronic disease prevention technologies for aging societies, and develop Korean smart farms which utilize AI and Big data." In addition, he vowed, "We will do our best to establish a natural product bio national industrial complex in Gangneung and serve as a groundbreaking turning point for regional development."