Impacts of S&T Investment as an Innovation Tool in Korea

Friday, February 15, 2013
Room 208 (Hynes Convention Center)
June Seung Lee , Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning, Seoul, South Korea
Korea has experienced a remarkable socio-economic growth over the last five decades, which transformed the poor agricultural nation into one of the strongest Asian economies. It is assessed that the S&T-led innovation has served as one of the engines enabling this dramatic national growth. Korea began building its S&T infrastructure in 1960s, when the Ministry of S&T was established to coordinate the S&T activities. It further promoted S&T as a source of competitive advantage in 1970s and 1980s and recently is focusing on increasing efficiency of S&T efforts and expanding investments on the basic and fundamental research. The current competitiveness in ship-building, automatic machinery, semiconductor, display, mobile phone, etc., tells what Korea has achieved and where Korea is now. However, for the coming another 50 years of the knowledge-based economy, we believe that Korea will be faced with new future challenges. For the last a couple of years, we, Korean, reached a conclusion through intensive debates that S&T again should be the main engine to tackle with these challenges. With this consensus a meaningful change has been made in Korea, generating National S&T Commission (NSTC) as the planning and control tower of all S&T activities inside Korean Governmental Body directly under Korean President. NSTC has rights and responsibilities of giving nation's S&T promotion direction to other S&T related ministries, setting S&T priorities at national level, coordinating/allocating R&D budgets, evaluating its outcome, building S&T infrastructure, etc. All these activities are working with Korea’s unique management system of S&T Planning, Implementation and Evaluation (P.I.E.) that works as a cycle. Among them, in particular, coordinating S&T policies and allocating R&D budgets are playing a pivotal role, by giving execution powers to S&T policies and R&D programs, and thus by giving more impacts on the other elements. This presentation will cover Korea’s unique S&T management system of P.I.E.-ing framework with more focus on the Implementation element of coordinating S&T policies and allocating R&D budgets. Also, some important investment directions and strategies set recently will be discussed, reflecting future prospects and accommodating future issues and needs that Korea is facing with.