Research bodies focus in climate forum

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Research bodies focus in climate forum

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Participants in the 2014 Seoul S&T Forum take time for a photo yesterday at the Plaza Hotel in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul. About 150 figures from the scientific and technological sectors discussed climate change issues. By Park Sang-moon


In the ongoing debate over how the world can embrace sustainable development with science technology, Samy Ben-Jaafar, the director of the Private Sector Facility at the Green Climate Fund (GCF), said yesterday that the key is to convince the private sector that financing green ventures can be profitable.

“The question is: How do we get the private sector involved?” he said yesterday at the 2014 Seoul Science & Technology Forum (Seoul S&T Forum), held at the Plaza Hotel in Gwanghwamun, central Seoul.

Speaking on behalf of representatives from global public research institutes, who gathered in Seoul to discuss technological and scientific solutions for global challenges, he continued: “Use very simple language. If you can describe it simply, money will flow.”

About 150 officials from worldwide government offices, public research institutions, international organizations and private businesses gathered for the fifth Seoul S&T Forum to discuss key issues regarding climate change, environment and energy.

Throughout the two-day event, which wraps today, participants shared their views on how various sectors in the international arena can provide solutions and what roles they can take. Discussions at the forum, which was co-hosted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the National Research Council of Science & Technology (NST), centered on the roles of public research institutes in the science and technology field.

German Ambassador to Korea Rolf Mafael, one the speakers yesterday, underscored the value of active cooperation in ironing out critical issues.

“Experts, policy makers and industry researchers together must find solutions to the challenges addressed in our world today,” he said, continuing that he’s very positive the cooperation will lay out innovative solutions.

In regards to cooperation, which is especially critical between academic engineers and industry researchers, Mafael referenced an example from his home country: the Active Research Environment for the Next Generation of Automobiles (ARENA2036), a “research partnership for the future of cars.”

According to the Bosch Group, who is taking part in the partnership, ARENA2036 involves scientists from the University of Stuttgart, independent research institutes and industries that have joined forces to adapt research results into future innovations for cars and transport.

Yoo Young-sook, the former environment minister who currently works as a senior research at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, echoed the German ambassador’s emphasis on cooperation, stressing that “global challenges are not a single nation’s problem, and they cannot be solved by one nation.”

She went further, highlighting the role of international-level corporations. Emphasizing the chief role of research industries, Yoo reflected on Korea’s past, when it was torn to “ashes” by the 1950-53 Korean War.

“Korea had a weak industrial base and scarce natural resources at that time,” she said. Nevertheless, the country was able to grow so rapidly because of “remarkable achievements by researchers” and the high-quality technology they provided.

Now, Yoo added, is the time for those researchers to achieve the same astonishing outcomes on a global scale to bridge the gap between developed and developing countries.


BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]


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