Germany’s innovation is showcased in SeoulThe Germany government has chosen Seoul as the launch pad for a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of Germany’s scientific and technological innovations.
“The objective of this campaign is to acquaint Korea and the world with Germany’s resources,” said Annette Schavan, the German federal minister of education and research.
She was speaking last Wednesday at the Grand Hyatt in Seoul to launch “Germany - Land of Ideas,” a one-year-initiative of her ministry designed to promote research and development investment in her home country. Participating companies include Audi, Bayer, Deutsche Bank and Adidas-Salomon.
Ms. Schavan said Korea had been chosen to launch the campaign because “diplomatic relations between Germany and Korea have been fruitful, and we took notice of the fact that Koreans are very interested in the culture and language of Germany. Among European countries, Germany has the largest number of resident Koreans.”
During the press conference that followed Ms. Schavan’s remarks, representatives from Korean and German research foundations recapped the bilateral cooperation they have had over the years. Georg Schutte, the secretary general of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, a research organization with a network of more than 200 scientists and scholars in Korea, said, “Every year, there are about 4,000 Korean students at German institutions of higher learning. Our foundation has, over time, funded over 270 researchers from Korea, and many of them now hold prominent positions in Korea.”
Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker was present to introduce the German Research Foundation, of which he is president. The foundation is the largest funding organization for basic research in Germany, with a budget of almost 2 million euros ($2,54 million). “We support the early development of young scientists ,” he said as he announced a collaboration with KOSEF, the Korean Science and Engineering Foundation, to develop a joint research training school in Korea.
Kim Key-hyup, head of the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology pointed out that Germany is the number one country in the world regarding exports per capita and that this is mainly due to the strength of small to medium business in the country.
“I hope that with this visit and campaign, Korea can learn from the success of small to medium enterprises in Germany,” he said.
The campaign, which began last week, will give interested partners in Korea the opportunity to contact German research establishments and companies until September 2007, when the Asia-Pacific Conference of German industry in Korea starts.
by Cho Jae-un