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

Final Report Summary - KORA-NET (An Initiative to Intensify and Strengthen the Regional S&T-Cooperation between Korea and the ERA)

Executive Summary:
KORANET aimed to enhance the S&T cooperation between the European and Korean research community. Its further objectives were to support the creation of a sustainable and coordinated European Research Area (ERA) and to increase the Korean participation in the 7th EU Research Framework Programme.
This was achieved through several analytical exercises (mapping, foresight studies, inventories of research institutions and programmes and other reports), the establishment of joint calls to fund European-Korean research (e.g. the 2010 Pilot Joint Call in the thematic field of Life-long Health [Ageing society] and the 2012 Joint Call on Green Technologies) as well as several public events (thematic conferences, workshops, information and brokerage events) that bring together the European and Korean research community. Moreover, a regular newsletter was published and a project website was created.

Project Context and Objectives:
KORANET was initiated since Korea had been recognized as one of the high potential young democracies in Asia with a growing market and standard of living. For Korea as for Europe, science and technology (S&T) are of key importance for consolidating and advancing its economic and social achievements. Therefore, it is a key partner country for the European research Area in developing a joint Science and Technology policy.

Korea and the EU share a common interest in specific areas of science, e.g. fusion energy, life sciences (biotechnology and health research), information technologies and telecommunications, industrial and materials technologies, sustainable development and humanities and social sciences. Thus, there is sufficient common ground to initiate multilateral cooperation between Europe and Korea.

KORANET attempted to increase the efficiency, avoid redundancies, and ensure the sustainability of successful activities of the past. It considered relevant previous and ongoing bi-regional and bi-lateral activities both inside and outside the EU S&T Framework programme for Korea.

KORANET did not follow the often used basic design principle of other ERA-NETs in its regular work package succession of 1.) analysis, 2.) strategy, 3.) joint activities, 4.) joint funding/joint call. On the contrary, as its working principle, KORANET had developed a “parallel-work package-approach” that had thought to exploit the synergies of the different work packages and increased the commitment of consortium partners, observers and Steering Committee partners.

Within the KORANET project, special attention was given to approaches that address the coordination of competency networks. They are an ideal instrument to link research done at universities or institutes and the industry and thus to bridge the gap between research and its application. The cooperation between Europe and Korea in this field was expected to yield synergistic effects.

The second pillar of KORANET was the establishment of a joint S&T funding programme, where interested programme owners agree to launch a pilot joint programme within a given scientific field or discipline which serves as a basis for the establishment of a joint funding programme.