It is my great pleasure to welcome all participants in this year’s 12th annual EU-Korea Conference on Science and Technology (EKC 2019). I am also pleased to note that Vienna has hosted this important meeting for the third time following 2010 and 2014.
First of all, I would like to express particular appreciation to Chairman PARK Jong-Mun, who is also the Chairman of the Korean Scientists and Engineers Association in Austria, and co-organizers of the EKC 2019.
Since 2008 when the EKC was inaugurated, it has been a useful platform which not only facilitates exchanges of ideas and information between governments, academia and private sectorsof Europe and Korea at various levels and also consolidates human and intellectual networks.
In this regard, I would like to commend the members of the EKC for their scientific and technological achievements and excellence and also their dedicated efforts to further develop the EKC itself. As a result, you have contributed to enhancing the images and perceptions of Korea in and out of Europe. In particular, the theme of this year’s conference, that is, “Science, Technology and Humanity: Advancement and Sustainability”, is very opportune and reflects our imminent and common task that we have to jointly tackle in the era of the 4th industrial revolution. I am sure that meaningful suggestions and proposals will be made to realize genuine humanity in the wake of revolutionary advancement of science and technology.
Although Korea and Europe are geographically far apart, there exist huge potentials for cooperation and complementarity. Needless to say, European countries, including Austria, have been traditionally strong in science and technology. Korea, on the other hand, boasts of globally acknowledged capabilities of industrialization and commercialization. If we combine these two comparative advantages in harmonious and effective ways, we could produce enormous synergy effects.
This new type of cooperation modality has been officially recognized and agreed by President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and his many European counterparts on numerous summit meetings since 2017. In result, we have a framework inplace for our future cooperation. Now what we need is the expertise, wisdom, and efforts of you, who have played a pivotal and bridging role between Korean and Europe, to put the agreements by the heads of states into actions and realities.
That is the reason why your this year’s conference as well as your continued endeavors are important.
I envisage a future when Korea’s advanced ICT technology and Europe’s advanced precision machinery technology together can produce unmanned mobile vehicles.
On the other hand, I hope the EKC 2019 will also provide you with a chance to enhance understanding Korean government‘s evolving R&D policy.
In response to the opportunities and challenges of the 4th industrial revolution era, the Korean government is promoting innovative growth of scientific and technological capabilities with a view to upgrading the quality of its citizens‘ lives under the policy of 『I-Korea 4.0』. In addition, Korea launched the world’s first 5G commercial service in April, as a result of coordinated efforts of the government and private sectors.
I, once again, hope that the conference will provide a venue to move ahead your research expertise, explore new research areas and modalities, and also further reinforce research networks between Korean and European scientists.
I wish the EKC 2019 would be a great success and yield fruitful outcomes.
Embassy & Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in Austria