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Korea Is 4.7 Years behind the US and 1.9 Years Ahead of China
Competitiveness of Science and Technology
Korea Is 4.7 Years behind the US and 1.9 Years Ahead of China
  • By matthew
  • August 13, 2013, 04:52
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Korean electronics, information, and communications technologies are close to being the best in the world. On the other hand, Korea’s aviation and space sciences are behind China’s. 

According to the “2012 Evaluation of Technology Level” of 120 national strategic technologies hosted by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) on August 12, Korea’s level of technology, which used to be 2.5 years ahead of China’s, is now only 1.9 years ahead. 

Korea had 29 technologies 3-7 years ahead of China, 68 that are 1-3 years ahead, and 9 that are less than a year ahead. However, China had 13 technologies which are more advanced than Korea’s. These include space launch vehicle development technology at 7.2 years, space surveillance system technology at 6.1 years, aerospace vehicle development and control management technology at 4.5 years, and futuristic piloted aviation technology at 3.8 years.

Compared to the US, the world leader in technology, Korea is 4.7 years behind. This shows a 0.7 year gap reduction from the 5.4-year difference in 2010. Korea is also catching up with the European Union (EU) at only 3.3 years difference compared to the previous 4.5 years, and with Japan at only 3.1 years difference from 3.8. 

The level of 120 Korean national strategic technologies was evaluated to be at 77.8% of the US level. This is 1.3% higher than the 76.5% received in the 2010 evaluation of 95 national core technologies. 

If the US’ technology level is 100%, then the order of the top five countries work out to be the US (100%), EU (94.5%), Japan (93.4%), Korea (77.8%), and China (67%). 

Korea’s strategic technology with the highest level was electronics, information and communications (82.2%). It is 2.9 years behind the US, which is the smallest of all level differences. However, aviation and space sciences are at 66.8%, which is lower than China and shows the largest difference of 10.4 years compared to US.

When categorizing the 120 national strategy technologies to five levels of best, leading, pursuing, delayed, and behind, 36 technologies are in the leading category and 83 are in the pursuing. Space surveillance system technology falls into the delayed category.

Korea does not have any technology in the best category. Meanwhile, the US has 97, Japan has 14, and the EU has 10 in the best category. China had its “oriental medicine effectiveness and mechanism close examination” technology categorized as best. 

The number of domestic dissertations registered compared to the entire number of dissertations registered in the world’s outstanding scholastic dissertation database related to the national strategic technologies (national strategic technology dissertation market share) for the past 10 years (2002-2012) was 3.5%, which ranked 5th, after the EU (23.5%), the US (19.2%), China (16.9%), and Japan (6.8%). As for the impact factor, showing dissertation quality, the US ranked first (1.47) followed by the EU (1.16), Japan (0.86), Korea (0.73), and China (0.35).

The average market share of national strategy technology patents for the past ten years turned out to be the US with 47.3%, the EU with 16.6%, Japan with 13.2%, Korea with 8.5%, and China with 1.4%. The patent impact factor ranking was the US at 1.29, Japan at 0.64, the EU at 0.55, Korea at 0.49, and China at 0.34.

The evaluation of technology level is held every 2 years in the following ten areas: electronics, information and communications; medical; biology; machinery; production and process; energy; resource and high technology; aviation and space; environment, earth and marine; nanotechnology and materials; construction and transportation; and disaster and catastrophe prevention and safety.