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Dynamics of new creation, Korea University R&D ecosystem
  • Writer : KU Research
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  • Date : 2018-10-04

KU Research Fall 2018 
Dynamics of new creation, Korea University R&D ecosystem


Dynamics of New Creation, Korea University R&D Ecosystem

A university’s R&D ecosystem is developed through interaction with external entities such as the government, businesses, and research sponsors. Korea University (KU) has established an open R&D ecosystem based on its stable research environment, and has devoted itself to ensuring that creativity and innovation take root. KU has attained quantitative growth and has become one of the most recognized research universities in the world. In addition, by ensuring diversity in its research fields and greatly increasing its global R&D competitiveness and social contributions in order to improve quality of life, KU has also achieved qualitative growth. As a result, KU ranked 86th in the QS World University Rankings 2018. Presently, instead of resting on its laurels, KU has dedicated itself to achieving its next target: becoming one of the top 50 universities in the world by developing a healthy R&D ecosystem.

The following depicts the key sciences and technologies and key initiatives established based on Research Data Identifying Strategic National Technologies to Establish a Strategy to Secure Promising Future Technologies from the Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) and an analysis of KU’s R&D status (See Figure 1. KU’s R&D ecosystem).

* Key sciences and technologies: Specific technologies classified based on effective performance and technological contributions to national R&D policies (Total 43 fields)
* Key initiatives: Broader initiatives categorized from key sciences and technologies (Total 8 initiatives)

Foundation for Growth – KU’s R&D Strategy and Plan

Establish the π-Prism Strategy for a Healthy R&D Ecosystem
R&D loses its drive to grow when it is trapped in a closed system. KU is strengthening its open R&D ecosystem in order to make social contributions through continued growth and R&D. In 2015, KU notably established the -Prism Strategy, through which the government, industry, and academia pioneered global R&D directions; they have been discovering new fields of convergence ever since. To do so, KU has not only reinforced a researcher-centered system by appointing Research Directors in each field and nurturing Research Coordinators, but has also focused on planning and obtaining large-scale projects.
( π-Prism Strategy = π refers to “pioneer” as in π-Ville. The key idea behind the π-Prism Strategy is to strengthen its R&D planning capabilities for group convergence research at the university level.)
Promote Technological Growth Focusing on Areas of Strength
KU demonstrates strong R&D competencies in healthcare/biotech/health, 4th Industrial Revolution, manufacturing/industry competitiveness, environment/safety/ society, and innovative growth engines. KU intends to focus its competencies on these five areas as key focus initiatives and enhance its global R&D competitiveness.
Expand Society-Based R&D, Contributing More to Economy and Society
KU is devoting its strongest efforts to creating an open R&D ecosystem, so that the university’s competencies can be involved in investigating and solving social problems together. To this end, KU is pursuing R&D in which the humanities and social sciences, its traditional areas of strength, are merged with sciences and technologies to improve quality of life. More specifically, the university is focusing on subject-specific research and solution development (R&SD) projects such as population aging, smart cities, smart farms, disaster and safety, and My Data.


10 Years of Evolution for the KU’s R&D Ecosystem

The evolution that KU’s R&D ecosystem has undergone over the last 10 years has been self-evident. The volume of government R&D grants KU receives has increased by a stunning KRW 85.2 billion: from KRW 126.4 billion in 2009 to KRW 211.6 billion in 2017. Furthermore, key initiatives regarding healthcare/ biotech/health, environment/safety/society, and the 4th Industrial Revolution, among others, have grown greatly. The number of key sciences and technologies has also increased from 33 to 40. Some of the most successful key initiatives include the Development Project of the Precision Medicine Hospital Information System (P-HIS); the AI curling robot, which can set game strategies and play games; and the establishment of a microearthquake monitoring system, along with the development of its management technique. Even at this very moment, KU is continuing dynamic evolution and creation, based on its healthy R&D ecosystem.

Figure 1. KU’s R&D ecosystem

Circle size: Volume of KU’s R&D grants from the government (2017)





Key Initiatives




Figure 2. 2009 vs. 2017: Evolution of KU’s R&D ecosystem (USD 1= about KRW 1,100)









- KU Research Fall 2018 (view all articles)


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