(480e) Dynamic Korea and Future Technology

Moon, I. - Presenter, Yonsei University
Is there any doubt that technology changes society? Consider the smartphone. Integration of phone, camera, navigator, computer, and more. Soon it will be hard to imagine life without one. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Korea (among the world’s leading users and suppliers of smartphones), which has gone from being a fast follower to a global trendsetter. Over the past few decades, Korea has become the only country that has transitioned from receiving UN aid from giving it, by sustaining a GDP growth rate of 7-9% back in 1970-1995, while the OECD average was 1-3%. Fast forward to today. The Korean government has two visions for its future investments in technology. One is a backward-looking R&D that seeks to apply technology convergence to address social problems. The other requires the so-called middle up-down approach to investment to provide unobtrusive yet effective government. Our national academies (The Korean academy of science and technology, the national academy of engineering of Korea and National academy of medicine of Korea) have selected three major issues they believe will drive the next ten years of change. These are first, targeting a 100-year healthy human lifespan; second, global climate change; and lastly, the fourth industrial revolution. Based on these three areas, they have selected twelve technologies that will help pave the way to a better future for us all. Given the changes to society that will come, universities and research institutes need to be at the forefront of raising these kinds of social issues and help society prepare for the future by discovering new knowledge, educating students, and enabling better social services. It would too much for me to review these now, however, I invite you to come and see some examples of our contribution to this endeavor that we will be introducing at this conference.