SEOUL/SEJONG, Oct. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea is seeking closer research and development (R&D) cooperation with foreign firms operating in the country to better meet the rapid pace of technological changes across the world, the government said Wednesday.
In a gathering of officials from foreign firms in Seoul, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said that tie-ups have become important as technologies converge and so-called open innovation created by companies and research laboratories working together gain traction.
Multinational companies such as 3M, Siemens and Solvay, which have affiliates in Asia’s fourth-largest economy, have a track record of engaging in cooperative R&D projects with their local counterparts, it said.
It also said local branches of Friedrich-Alexander University, Utah University, Ghent University and State University of New York Korea have expressed interest in joint R&D projects.
The ministry said foreign companies and institutes pointed out that lingering language and cultural barriers still barred entry, while the unique nature of joint R&D required some improvements in administrative and regulatory matters.
As part of the government’s efforts to facilitate greater cooperation, it will release all regulations governing R&D guidelines in English on a dedicated website and start accepting English language proposals and evaluations in order to reduce paperwork time, the ministry said.
A special help desk will be created to listen to suggestions made by foreign companies and R&D centers, it added.
“Such measures can make it easier for foreign companies to work more closely with their local counterparts and can contribute to growth in technology and innovation,” the ministry said.