ICKSMCB 2018 / 2018 International Conference of the Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology / September 17(Mon)-19(Wed), 2018 / COEX, Seoul, Korea

Nobel Laureate Lecture

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Ministry of Science and ICT: Korea's R&D Innovation Policies (Science, Technology and Innovation)

September 18 (Tue), 12:20-13:10, Rm. 300

Korea's R&D Innovation Policies

Dae-sik Lim
Vice Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Science and ICT, Korea

The most important issue of Korea's science and technology policies is 'Research & Development (R&D) Innovation.' Having set 'human-centered science and technology innovation' as the primary direction of its science and technology policies, the Moon Jae-in administration has been pushing strongly for R&D innovation since its inauguration. In particular, in August 2017, the administration established the Office of Science and Technology Innovation in its first government reshuffle. In the following year, it established the authority of the newly-launched Office, ensuring that government budget allocations for R&D are made independently of the government's finance ministry as well as in a science and technology-centered and researcher-centered manner. Furthermore, in July 2018, it unveiled the 'National R&D Innovation Measures,' which set out the fundamental directions and strategies for the nation's science and technology innovation policies.
The aims of the current Korean administration's strong drive for R&D innovation are to accelerate convergence and innovation in the science and technology sector and to guarantee the excellence and independence of research and development efforts, thus exploring new values and drivers of growth, creating quality jobs, and consequently improving people's quality of life. The underlying conclusion behind this drive is that the nation's existing R&D system is not effective. More specifically, despite its quantitative achievements, including a steady rise in R&D investments and an increase in the number of publications and patents, it has lacked a proportionate amount of qualitative achievements. The administration believes that the main reasons for the insufficiency of qualitative outcomes are the nation's outdated R&D management system and a lack of leading-edge R&D projects with a challenging spirit despite the significant number of projects.
The 'National R&D Innovation Measures' are a set of strategies to advance the National Innovation System (NIS), which broadly cover numerous innovation areas, such as R&D, industries, human resources development, regulations, and employment. The Measures aim to realign the nation's R&D policies towards 'people and society.' While the nation's previous R&D efforts focused on what technology to develop, the focal point of the current efforts is to nurture researchers with challenging and creative minds and establish an advanced system to support these researchers. Furthermore, the Korean administration is promoting science and technology through an emphasis on bringing about outcomes that can be appreciated by the people in areas closely related to their daily lives, such as public health, safety, the environment, and job creation.