Foreign R&D Centers Cropping Up Here
Korea Times / 2004. 03. 26 By Kim Tae-gyu
Staff ReporterThe world"s top companies and research institutes are rushing to Korea to set up research and development (R&D) centers.
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) on Thursday said it isunder negotiation with several world-renowned firms or foundations,including University of Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory, Novartis, DuPont and EMC.The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) is also lookingto attract five to six multinational companies to establish R&D centers here this year.
Korea has already become a home for R&D institutes from top-tier foreign outfits like the world"s No.1 computer-chip maker Intel Corp. and Paris-based medical foundation Institut Pasteur as well as Germany"s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
The MOST said Cavendish will exchange a memorandum of understandingto set up a joint research center here together with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) as early as this May.
The two entities will join hands to accelerate knowledge in the fields of nanotechnology, optical technology and physics to name a few,a MOST official said.It also seeks to invite Swiss-based pharmaceutical group Norvatis toestablish an R&D center here on occasion of the medical symposium that will take place here from March 31.
The Fortune 500 company is expected to dispatch dozens of high-ranking staff to the two-day neuroscience convention.
The Korea Foundation for International Cooperation of Science and Technology (KICOS), an affiliate of MOST, expects a few American companies, including DuPont, to open shop here.``DuPont is likely to make a decision, and we are currently under negotiations with several big companies like EMC,"" KICOS official KimKey-hyup said.
EMC is the world"s third-largest maker of data-storage devices.Seoul seeks to host six high-tech information-technology (IT) research centers this year.
Up to now, Intel and Fraunhofer committed themselves to setting up research centers here, and IBM will likely open an R&D center as soonas its affiliate IBM Korea"s bribe scandal regarding a government contract is settled.
Such high-profile companies as Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Qualcomm are welcome to open R&D centers in Korea, an MIC official said. The government is willing to provide financial incentives to foreignR&D centers.