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Experts emphasize R&D for growth, integration

June 7, 2011 - 19:45 By 신현희
Academics and leaders in the industrial and public sectors around the world underscored Tuesday the significance of research and development in securing sustainable, mutual growth.

Around 500 officials and experts in science and technology from more than 10 countries took part in the Global R&D Forum 2011 hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy in Seoul. 
International scholars and experts attend the Global R&D Forum, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy in Seoul on Tuesday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

Participants include Hermann Simon, strategy expert and author of “Hidden Champions; George Whitesides, chemistry professor at Harvard University; Shin Kang-geun, computer science professor at University of Michigan and Roland Villinger, McKinsey’s Korea office.

On the first day of three-day event through Thursday, they exchanged views in three sessions on challenges and opportunities of R&D, R&D strategies and its role in private-public partnerships. “The innovation processes of the hidden champions are fundamentally different,” said Simon, chairman of Simon-Kucher & Partners, in a keynote speech.

“They combine specialization in product and know-how with global selling and marketing. This involves the relocation of both R&D and manufacturing to emerging markets and generates truly inclusive growth.”

The experts agreed that R&D investment is vital in corporate innovation, technology convergence and promoting mutual growth between small- and medium-sized enterprises and large companies.

Through the forum, the ministry aims to provide tips for emerging markets on R&D strategies, as well as opportunities for advanced countries to bring up ideas that can lead the world to balanced growth, its Office of Strategic R&D Planning said.

“Invisible barriers have existed between developed and developing countries, large and small- to medium-sized companies, and governments and businesses,” said Hwang Chang-gyu, head of the R&D unit. “We’ll lay the cornerstone for “inclusive growth” through R&D sectors.”

On Wednesday, they will join a closed-door forum and roundtables to discuss R&D strategies in Korea. It will hold a tour on Thursday around local companies and academic institutions for advisors to the R&D office.

By Shin Hyon-hee (