It has been a fantastic few weeks for UK science, both here in Korea and on the global stage.
The biggest headline was Sir John Gurdon, of the University of Cambridge, sharing the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan, for outstanding work in stem cell research. The UK remains the second highest recipient of Nobel Prizes after the US. With strong candidates in several other categories, we’ll be showing why Innovation is GREAT Britain for many years to come.
Following his award, Sir John is currently in Korea as a speaker at the 2nd International Symposium in Reprogramming and Stem Cells at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST). This visit emphasises the growing value UK scientists place on collaboration with Korea, as well as Korean recognition of the high quality of UK research. UNIST is one of the youngest universities in Korea but it has great aspirations and great potential. So I look forward to seeing future collaborations in stem cell development between UK scientists and UNIST, and with other Korean research partners.
On the subject of partnerships, I’m delighted several UK universities have been selected as recipients of Korean funding grants for cooperative research.
Six UK universities have been chosen to conduct joint research in nine projects as part of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology’s 2012 Global Research Outreach programme. The recipients were the universities of Birmingham, Cardiff, King’s College London, Oxford, Southampton and the West of England. In addition, the University of Strathclyde, as part of its ongoing partnership with the Korean Ministry of Knowledge Economy, recently announced the funding of three projects in stem cell, anti-aging cosmetic and OLED technologies in cooperation with Korean SMEs.
The visit of three UK university vice-chancellors (equivalent to university presidents in Korea) for the KAIST International Presidential Forum for Global Research Universities is another demonstration of the growing demand for bilateral cooperation between our two countries. Meetings with Koen Lamberts of the University of Warwick, Don Nutbeam of the University of Southampton and Brian Cantor of the University of York, revealed the strong interest of these world leading universities in linking with Korean partners for collaborative research in fields as diverse as automotive engineering, software systems engineering, green chemistry, healthcare technologies, fusion energy research and ocean engineering and naval architecture.
In a world where great science can only be achieved through the type of joint research described here, I am always pleased to learn of new developments between the UK and Korea. This is an increasingly important part of the UK-Korea relationship.
For more information about any of the organisations I talk about here, please contact Gareth Davies in the Embassy’s Science and Innovation Section.