Tech innovation exhibit displays Swedes’ prowess

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Tech innovation exhibit displays Swedes’ prowess

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The Embassy of Sweden opened its “Innovative Sweden” exhibit on Nov. 11 at Ewha Womans University, where 20 Swedish companies are showcasing their cutting edge technology and products. Swedish Ambassador Lars Danielsson (first row, fourth from right), Swedish Institute Director-General Annika Rembe (sixth from right) and Kim Sun-uk, president of Ewha (fifth from right), attended the opening ceremony. By Park Sang-moon

From eye-controlled computers to multi-sensing touch technology, Sweden is known as a breeding ground for innovative enterprises. The Embassy of Sweden seeks to share the story behind the country’s development of cutting-edge technology through an exhibition titled “Innovative Sweden” through Nov. 30 at Ewha Womans University.

The exhibition presents the core products and technology of 20 young Swedish tech companies. Movie and photo exhibits are also on display.

“Innovation has, for a long time, been one of the cornerstones of Sweden’s ascent from a poor country some 100 years ago to one of the most prosperous nations in the world today,” said Ambassador Lars Danielsson. “The ‘Innovative Sweden’ exhibition tries to convey a picture of why our country has been so successful in forming a creative economy.”

The ambassador also emphasized the role of women, hinting at why Korea’s top women’s university was chosen as the venue.

“No society can fully develop its capacity for innovation unless the capacity of both men and women is utilized. This has been a key element in the Swedish development for a number of decades,” he said.

Visitors can obtain a glimpse of the latest developments in the fields of clean technology and information, and communications technology, through seminars, workshops and presentations. Seven films will be screened.

Among the participants is Neonode, a company that developed optical technology used in mobile devices. Other companies include jDome, Penny, Crunchfish and Selektope, all of which are small and midsize but are known for their sophisticated, cutting-edge work.

“Collected in this exhibition, you’ll find some of Sweden’s latest and most interesting innovations,” said Annika Rembe, director-general of the Swedish Institute. “They were chosen not only because of their technological forward thinking and design appeal, but also because they are socially and environmentally conscious - driven not only toward change but toward change for the better.”

Rembe emphasized that the focus is not solely on promoting a specific technology, but on “Sweden’s way of reaching out to international counterparts in an invitation to dialogue and idea sharing.”

Kim Sun-uk, president of Ewha Womans University, pointed out that the university’s vision has much in common with Sweden’s approach toward innovation. “For 127 years, Ewha has rigorously challenged students and professionals to bring about changes in Korean society and to reach their greatest potential,” said Kim. “Ewha constantly pursues groundbreaking research and collaboration with industries and universities around the world. For instance, Ewha has cooperated with Solvay, a Belgian chemical company, to launch a global headquarters for R&D this December on the Ewha campus.”

Since opening at Stanford University, “the exhibition has [been to] Canada, China, Brazil, Germany and Japan, attracting a total of 40,000 visitors.” Seoul is its final stop.


BY PARK EUN-JEE [ejpark@joongang.co.kr]
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