Samsung plans to fund university tech research

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Samsung plans to fund university tech research

Samsung Group, Korea’s No.1 conglomerate, announced a set of science and technology research projects on Monday that the business conglomerate will fund throughout this year, which are mostly focused on sensors and system software.

These are projects that are not developed by the research team within the tech company and its affiliates but those from leading university research labs, which is part of its programs for enhancing cooperation between the private sector and academia.

The nation’s No. 1 tech giant selects leading technologies and announces its investment plans every year.

Among the selected items this year is a highly sensitive tactile sensor using upconverting nanocrystals developed by Lee Ji-seok at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (Unist).

Tactile sensors can extract information from physical interactions and serve as the key component to develop health-related smart devices and other Internet-enabled machines.

With the material called upconverting nanocrystal, the sensor can be more sensitive and display information in different colors.

“We tried best to select innovative and creative proposals for sensor systems that will be responsible for collecting information in the ‘Internet of things’ environment,” said Kim Seong-geun, a chemistry professor at Seoul National University who was one of the judging panel.

Other sensor-related items include artificial antibodies and a sensor that can detect the onset of diseases.

The annual selection is part of the Samsung Research Funding Center for Future Technology’s project to invest in promising science and technology projects.

Established in 2013, the Samsung Foundation pledged to spend a total of 1.5 trillion won ($1.3 billion) on tech science research through 2023.

In the field of software, a research proposal on energy-efficient electric control systems for mobile devices is one of the recipients.

Spearheaded by Cha Ho-jung, a computer science professor at Yonsei University, the system could increase battery life on mobile devices by up to 30 percent.

“Even though systems software is a core technology for the ICT sector,” said Prof. Koh Geon of Ewha Womans University, “Korea lacks suitable support for the sector.”

Since 2013, the Samsung center has selected a total of 160 research projects to nurture future technology.

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