It has been one year since Korea University (KU) was selected as an Advanced Industry-Academia Cooperation University for Leaders in INdustry-university Cooperation (LINC+), a project initiated by the Ministry of Education and the National Research Foundation of Korea. KU has already demonstrated long-standing know-how, distinguished performance, and outstanding achievement in industry–academy cooperation. It is, therefore, expected that KU will showcase its own insights and performance in this project as well. The following are excerpts from an interview with Byoung-ho Choi, a project director of LINC+ and a professor of mechanical engineering.
What Differentiates KU’s
KU set a new goal of “developing into the finest university of global industry–academy convergence from Korea’s first university of industry–academy cooperation” in its existing mid- and long-term development plan for industry–academy cooperation. Considering KU’s highest employment rate in Korea, we believe it is the right time to nurture competitive students not only in Korea but also around the globe.
In order to achieve this goal, LINC+ developed three platforms: π-EDU (a socially tailored platform of student-designed and convergence majors), π-IDEAS (an open platform to connect academy,research, and community for start-ups by young entrepreneurs), and π-R&BIZ (a KU all-set research and business support platform based on advanced notice). It has also developed an education program for industry–academy cooperation, built infrastructure, and provided greater support to local businesses.
What are the noteworthy achievements
of the past one year?
With regard to the π-EDU platform, active capstone design and systematic field practice are notable examples. Capstone design was only provided to some engineering departments, and it has been expanded to other departments; 1,573 students (47%) are currently participating.
It is the highest level ever seen in universities in Korea. A committee was created to connect field practice with a variety of companies, and a global internship program is also being developed.
Start-up support for π-IDEAS is noteworthy as well. Extraordinary business items via capstone design and field practice result in actual start-ups via KU’s start-up system. Furthermore, we are supporting students’ participation in various global start-up programs such as K-Startup ASEAN Challenge (Singapore) and Social Venture Youth Exchange U+ (the Philippines), and providing them with opportunities to travel overseas.
Through the -R&BIZ platform, we are able to support high-performing people and provide equipment to meet the needs of local communities and businesses. In connection with industries in local communities and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), we established Anam-Hongneung Valley, which aims to become a Korean version of Silicon Valley, and are also carrying out various projects related to local communities in connection with Anam-dong Campus Town, which was designated for the first time in Seoul.
In addition, we are devoting ourselves to developing infrastructure such as Marker Space, in which creative students can turn their ideas into reality. To begin with, X-Garage will be completed in the Innovation Building at the end of April.
What is your prediction
about KU’s LINC+?
Our vision and goal is to “create a future knowledge industry by establishing a convergent industry–academy platform” based on the three platforms described above. Another important virtue of LINC+ is “proliferation.” As the capstone design course spreads to other departments, and field practice and business support systematically expand, it is more important than anything else to proliferate this project’s value and implementation inside and outside KU so that it can develop together with academy, research, and community.
- KU Research Spring 2018