South Korea is expected to soon become a member of the Europe's research and development (R&D) program Eurostars, the Seoul government said Friday.
Eurostars is a joint R&D programme run by EUREKA, a network of 41 European states, including all 28 member states of the European Union, according to the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
A memorandum of understanding centered on South Korea becoming a member of the programme was by South Korean Minister Yoon Sang-jick, who is currently accompanying South Korean President Park Geun-hye on her official trip to Europe, the ministry said in a press release.
South Korea, if it joins Eurostars, will become the first non-European state to become a member of the European R&D programme.
South Korea seeks to join Eurostars 2, a second seven-year program that is set to be launched at the start of next year and conclude in the year 2020.
Eurostars 1, scheduled to conclude at the end of the year, generated 393 million euros of funding, or about US$527 million. Eurostars 2 is expected to aggregate up to $1724 million of public and private funds, according to the ministry.
"The ministry believes the Eurostars programme will be a great opportunity for the country's small and medium-sized businesses to learn and experience the advanced technology and innovation of Europe's hidden champions through exchange and mutual cooperation," it said.
South Korea plans to invest about 35 billion won ($33million) in projects under Eurostars 2 by 2020, it added. The country will become a member upon the approval from the European Parliament.