The Historical Role and Future Tasks of KIST in Korea’s Science and Technology Development

The Historical Role and Future Tasks of KIST in Korea’s Science and Technology Development
R&D Competitiveness; KIST; 역사적 역할; 미래의 과제; Industrial Development; National R&D System; R&D Platform
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AASA Regional Workshop on “Economic Advancement through Science, Technology and Innovation”
Korea Institute of Science and Technology, simply known as KIST, is not the oldest national research institute in Korea but has been the flagship national research institute from its establishment in 1966. KIST was instrumental in formulating the technological plan to develop the steel industry, heavy industry, petro‐chemical industry as well as the electronic industry in Korea, among which the master plan to build the POSCO Pohang steel work is the most notable case. The industrial fields that KIST formulated the strategic blueprint still remain as the main economic strength of Korea. It is the main reason that KIST stands out from other research institutes in Korea. In addition, KIST has served as the womb for the Korea’s science and technology R&D system. Ever since its beginning days, 11 other national research institutes have been branched out from KIST, covering the wide spectrum of scientific disciplines, such as chemistry (KRICT), life science (KRIBB) and geo‐science (KORDI), technological disciplines, such as electronics and telecommunication (ETRI), mechanical and material (KIMM), manufacturing (KITECH), energy (KIER), food (KFRI) and strategical disciplines, such as information (KISTI), human settlement (KRIHS) and S&T strategies (STEPI). However, KIST now faces new challenges. The fundamental socioeconomic environment under which the nation‐wide top‐down science and technology development plan can be executed is no longer prevailing. KIST has to compete with its brother institutes as well as with the universities in order to maintain the R&D excellence while providing the think‐tank services for the national RDD&D (Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment). In this seminar, the detailed historical achievements as well as future tasks of KIST will be presented, which may be able to serve as a blueprint to national science and technology developmen
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