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An Initiative to Intensify and Strengthen the Regional S&T-Cooperation between Korea and the ERA

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Intensifying S&T cooperation with Korea

The Republic of Korea and the European Union can benefit greatly from intensified science and technology (S&T) cooperation. Towards that end, the EU-funded project KORA-NET has succeeded in building a robust network to promote joint funding and deeper multilateral ties.

Digital Economy

In an impressively short time span, the Republic of Korea has left the status as a developing country and become a leading industrialised one. Nowadays, Korea is in fact a top global performer in research and innovation, and has one of Asia's most competitive industrial sectors. In recent years, the EU has intensified its effort to enhance its S&T collaboration with Korea. One major milestone was the signing of two cooperation agreements in 2006: one relating to S&T and the other to fusion energy research. With a view to deepening this collaborative relationship, the project 'An initiative to intensify and strengthen the regional S&T-Cooperation between Korea and the ERA' (KORA-NET) was set up to facilitate joint research between the research communities. Financed by the Seventh Framework Programme's (FP7) 'International cooperation' (INCO) theme, the project consortium was made up of 11 partners from 10 countries, including South Korea. KORA-NET enhanced the forging of closer ties between the European and Korean research communities both at the EU level and bilaterally between individual Member States and South Korea. One of the project's major achievements was the launching of two joint calls for proposals under the FP7 umbrella. The first call in 2010 on healthy ageing resulted in the funding of 14 collaborative projects in social sciences, healthcare, and medicine. The second joint call in 2012 financed 11 projects in green technologies (reduction of carbon footprint, technologies for sustainable development, renewable energies and energy efficiency). The project team also promoted the exchange of information and good practice, including a broad range of analytical reports. Its user-friendly website contains useful databases of bilateral funding programmes, an inventory of research institutes in the EU and South Korea, and listings of young researcher mobility programmes in both communities. KORA-NET has laid a sustainable foundation for deepening Euro-Korean cooperation through joint calls, timely analysis and foresight, and for the creation of bilateral contacts.

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