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15 June 2015

5th EU-Korea Joint S&T Cooperation Committee

Photo from the meeting EC Director-General Robert-Jan Smits and Korean Vice-Minister Sukjoon Lee

The EU and the Republic of Korea held the 5th Joint S&T Cooperation Committee in Seoul on 15 June 2015. The meeting, chaired by EC Director-General Robert-Jan Smits and Korean Vice-Minister Sukjoon Lee, was a further testimony of the breadth and dynamism of the EU-Korea partnership where successful cooperation on political, economic, security and science & technology affairs reflects the EU's and Korea's increasing international engagement and shows that they face similar challenges and share many of the same values and concerns.

At the meeting both sides emphasised the importance of continuing to improve the framework conditions for EU and Korean scientists and innovators to work together. They agreed to early exchanges of programme information to enable more efficient provision of matching funds and to allow for monitoring of cooperation intensity. Participants also agreed to continue support to joint events and to the efforts of multipliers to facilitate access to information and partnering of R&I stakeholders.

The substantial progress of current Korea-EU R&I cooperation was appreciated from both sides that also emphasised the need to deepen, scale up and open cooperation in selected thematic areas of mutual benefit. These areas include a joint call on 5G-next generation communication networks, Internet of Things and cloud services, a twinning call on CO2 capture technologies, and cooperation through multilateral initiatives on nano-safety and on infectious disease preparedness. Potentially new common priority topics include nanoelectronics, materials modelling, innovative medicine, medical devices, and satellite navigation.

The Implementing Arrangement for Korean researchers to join the teams of ERC Principal Investigators is progressing well with two calls launched already, and researchers' mobility through Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions is set to increase through R&I Staff Exchanges and Innovative Training Networks.

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27 March 2015

First ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and meeting with Korean counterparts

Photo of Cristina Russo Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation

Ms Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in DG Research and Innovation went on mission to Korea this week to participate in the first ever EU Research & Innovation Day in Seoul and to meet her Korean counterparts.

The EU Research & Innovation Day was extremely successful, attracting nearly 400 participants and top Korean leaders in research and innovation, notably the First Vice-Minister of MSIP and the Presidents and CEOs of major Korean companies and S&T Institutes. The event showcased S&T excellence in the EU and cooperation opportunities between public and private stakeholders from Europe and Korea.

The preparation of the upcoming Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee JSTCC meeting scheduled for 16 June was finalised at a meeting with MSIP, the main subjects and areas of exchange and discussion were also agree and a 2-hours workshop back-to-back with the JTSCC proposed by MSIP to focus on 'Technology Commercialisation' was also discussed.

Other Meetings took place with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) with an update on both sides on EU-Korea relations in industrial technology and pro-business policies, with members of the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea and with Member States representatives at various levels.

With 4.4% of GDP invested in R&D, excellent S&T capacities, and high speed in turning lab results into commercial products and services, Korea is a key international partner country for the EU. Our collaboration in research and innovation should be deepened and broaden, including in Korea-EU researchers' mobility in the context of the ERC and MSCA. At the same time, we need to continuously seek to improve the framework condition for cooperation.

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Policy Dialogue

Korea and the EU play a key role in the areas of Science, Research and Innovation at an international level and cooperation in these domains constitutes a key element of the overall Partnership.

The Agreement on the Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the Republic of Korea entered into force in April 2007 as a demonstration of strong commitment to formalise and reinforce cooperation. Since then, cooperation has developed with a strong focus on key thematic areas and growing potential appeared such as in regards to mobility of researchers.

Building on their existing relations, the EU and Korea established a more structured policy dialogue, identifying priorities to enhancing cooperation and launching activities based on mutual benefit and balanced reciprocity.

Within the second EU-KOREA Cooperation Roadmap in Science, Technology and Innovation (2011 - 2013), both parties decided to focus on key priority topics such as:

  • Nanosciences, Materials and Production: nano-safety, manufacturing and critical materials,
  • Information and Communication Technologies: Future and Emerging Technologies, Future Internet and robotics to grapheme technologies,
  • Energy (non-nuclear): diversify energy sources, limit dependence on fossil fuels, reduce CO2 emissions and enhance their energy efficiency,
  • Researchers Mobility , and,
  • International Cooperation

A network of EU centres in Korean universities has been established in order to promote a greater understanding of the EU institutions and policies by developing a broad of activities ranging from teaching programmes to research, as well as outreach activities related to the EU and its policies. In South Korea four centres have been set-up providing financial support and encouraging scholars and researchers in the field of EU-related studies by organising and hosting domestic and international conferences and seminars. These also foster relations between researchers working on EU-related issues in South Korea itself.

Review of the S&T agreement between the European Union & the Republic of Korea
The S&T agreement was evaluated after its initial 5-year period and the main recommendations of this report are:

  1. To move from a short-term approach to S&T cooperation, to a more ambitious approach based on a long-term vision and clear jointly developed roadmaps that rely on reciprocal measures and the mutual opening of programmes.
  2. To intensify policy dialogue to include the full spectrum of Korean and European actors necessary for the development of priority domains including in basic science.
  3. To involve industry so as to reap the full benefit of the Free Trade Agreement, for example by increasing joint participation in test-beds and the development of standards for emerging technologies.



Korean entities participated 65 times in FP7 signed grant agreements. 153 Korean researchers have been funded through the Marie Curie Actions and Korean institutions have participated in 14 projects. An FP support action, KONNECT, is helping the coordination of specific activities, such as networking events by thematic area, twinning events, training of National Contact Points, and preparation of strategic reports. In Euratom FP7 and FP7+2, there have been 5 Korean participations in Fission projects, while the number of bilateral Fusion collaborative activities have reached about 35 collaborative activities.

Several initiatives to intensify and strengthen the regional S&T cooperation between Korea and the European Research Area (ERA) were launched during FP7. KORANET (Korean Scientific Cooperation Network with the European Research Area) lead to successful joint pilot programs and key projects, and KORRIDOR and KESTCAP produced key studies (see below).

  • An Initiative to Intensify and Strengthen the Regional S&T-Cooperation between Korea and the ERA (KorA-Net) aims at strengthening the ERA by integrating national and European S&T schemes through International Cooperation in S&T with Korea, with a specific focus on existing "Competency Networks". This project has produced interesting joint studies, i.e. an inventory of S&T cooperation programmes EU-Korea analysing the degree and the pattern of internationalisation in S&T of various KORANET member countries and providing information on Korea's participation in multilateral EU and international collaboration programmes.
  • Stimulating and facilitating the participation of European researchers in Korean R&D programmes (KORRIDOR) aims to widen and strengthen the RTD cooperation between Korea and the EU in the area of common research interests by opening up access opportunities for European research groups in Korean national research and/or innovation programmes, providing information on existing access opportunities and analysing, quantitatively and qualitatively, the participation of European researchers in the Korean RTD programmes.
  • Korea-EU Science and Technology Cooperation Advancement Programme (KESTCAP) provide a platform to strengthen the S&T agreement between Korea and the EU and improve this cooperation by identifying S&T fields of common interests of Korea and the EU, set up a website and information help desks to respond to specific inquiries on existing opportunities and available funding instruments; contribute to the Korea-EU policy dialogue on science, technology, and innovation.



Framework documents

Background documents


European Commission
DG Research and Innovation
Michael Arentoft
Policy Officer - R&I Relations with Korea
Unit RTD C 1 - Policy Coordination, EFTA and Enlargement countries, Russia, Asia and Pacific
Tel. (+32) 229 63886
Michael Arentoft
Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea
Ju Young Kim (S&T)
Yumi Chung (S&T)
16th Floor, S-Tower, 116 Shinmoonro 1-ka, Chongro-ku, Seoul, Korea
Telephone (Direct): (+82) 2 3704 1755
Telephone (Central): (+82) 2 3704 1700
Fax: (+82) 2 3735 1211
Ju Young Kim (S&T)
Yumi Chung (S&T)

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