Welcoming  Address - Korea 


Ministry of Science and Technology

Mr. Kurt Tong, Dr. Mihail Roco, Dr. Lee Hee-Gook, Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a great honor and pleasure for me to join you here at the First Korea-US Forum on Nano-science and technology.  To begin with, I would like to thank you, distinguished scientists and engineers from the United States and Korea, for your commitments to the development of Korea-US relationship in the areas of science and technology.  On behalf of the Ministry of Science and Technology, I would like to extend our warmest welcome to the US participants to Korea and to the Forum.  

Let me also thank Dr. Rita Colwell, Director of the National Science Foundation of the United States, Dr. Choi Soo-Hyun, President of the Korea Institute for Science and Technology Planning and Evaluation, and Dr. Cho Young-Hwa, President of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information, for their leadership in making this forum happen today.  Today's forum has been made possible by the efforts of many people on both sides.  In particular, Dr. Lee Jo-Won and Dr. Jhon Myung-Sik and their colleagues have put in tremendous amount of time and efforts in organizing this forum.  They deserve our thanks and congratulations.

Ladies and gentlemen:

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Korea-US alliance.  As agreed at the Korea-US summit meeting last May, the bilateral relationship will be further strengthened into the future and will develop into a dynamic alliance. We believe the same development will take place in the areas of science and technology.

The formal Korea-US relationship in science and technology is based on the Korea-US Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation which was established in 1976.  The agreement has since been amended and extended in response to changing demands in science and technology.  Based on the new agreement, our two governments have been promoting and coordinating bilateral cooperation in science and technology through the Korea-US Joint Committee on Science and Technology which is held once every two years.

The United States is Korea's key partner for international cooperative research and other scientific exchanges and collaboration.  And you have been the key players in bilateral cooperation in the areas of nano-science and technology.

One of the major features of modern science and technology development is the increasing reliance on interdisciplinary collaboration for new discoveries and inventions.  Interdisciplinary approach tends to make research projects larger and more expensive, increasing the need for cooperation between nations, research institutions, and researchers.  Under such a circumstance, there is no doubt that we can achieve better results in science and technology development by combining our resources and wisdom than by working alone.

But in pursuing cooperation, we need to identify and focus on the areas where cooperation works more effectively than competition does.  I attach a great significance to this Korea-US Forum on Nano-science and Technology, because this forum offers an opportunity for you, scientists and engineers from both countries, to jointly explore and identify areas for mutually beneficial cooperation.

Nano-science and technology is an area of great interests in both Korea and the United States, receiving increasing investments from the governments.  But the two countries differ from each other in vision, R&D capability, investment strategy, R&D system, and others.  The differences suggest that we have very much to offer each other for mutually beneficial cooperation.  And your role here today is to translate the differences into practical agenda for cooperation.

So, at the end of the forum, I hope, you will be able to return home with new and  innovative ideas on Korea-US cooperation in the areas of your specialties.  I also hope that this forum will be an opportunity for you to make new friends and to strengthen professional fellowships among yourselves, because Korea-US relationship in science and technology depends critically on the personal and professional relationships among the individual scientists and engineers of the two countries.  

Ladies and gentlemen:

I would like to close now by thanking again all those who worked so very hard to make this forum happen today. I wish you the best for the success of the forum.

Thank you for your attention.