The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has launched a new platform for integrated promotion in science, technology and innovation to support and coordinate activities of research centres, universities and Italian companies in South Korea. It was launched at a meeting at the ministry headquarters with experts and representatives of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Education, University and Research, the Ministry for the Environment, and members of the research community and trade associations.
Vincenzo De Luca, Director-General of the Ministry’s Department for the Promotion of the Italian Economic Sytem, said: "The Italian diplomatic corps wants to build a strategy with the other ministries to support a public-private action in research and innovation aimed at bolstering the promotion of our country’s brand in South Korea, one of the world leaders in the field of education and High Tech. Specifically, the need has emerged for direction and coordination to increase technology cooperation with South Korea as relations between our countries continue to grow."
The launch is part of consistent efforts to strengthen relations between Rome and Seoul, as marked by frequent exchanges of visits at all levels. These include a visit to Italy by South Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Yun Byung-se, who will meet Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the entrepreneurial and scientific mission led by Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova in March 2016, and the visit to Seoul of Italian Minister of Education, University and Research Stefania Giannini in October 2015.
South Korea is the fourth largest economy in Asia after Japan, China and India and is one of the leading countries in the world in terms of high-quality education and economic competitiveness. The High Tech sector is a key area for its economic growth and high-tech products account for 30% of its exports. Spending on scientific research is one of the highest, reaching 4.1% of the country’s GDP, with 76% provided by private enterprises and a marked interchange between research and economic activities. The South Korean government intends to enhance investments in agricultural and medical research, two fields in which the levels of excellence Italy has attained could be conducive to promising collaborative projects.