Korea will share the “KIST Model” with Vietnam, which serves as a foothold for technology industrialization of the country. The “V-KIST” blueprints were unveiled on March 20 in Hanoi, Vietnam by Moon Kil-ju, ex-president of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and experts on Vietnam and KIST, who have been preparing to set up a Vietnamese KIST, or V-KIST.
The V-KIST project master plan includes visions of the institute, goals, fundraising for its stable operation, construction plans for V-KIST to be opened in 2017, its research areas, and strategies for transferring KIST experience and operational knowhow.
Last year, the Korean government decided to go ahead with the project, upon the Vietnamese Government’s request for “support for establishing a KIST-like science and technology institute” as part of the Korea International Cooperation Agency’s (KOICA) Development Experience Exchange Partnership (DEEP) program under the umbrella of the Foreign Office. The project is the largest among Korea’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) operations in developing countries.
The Vietnamese economy is heavily dependent on light industry, similar to the 1970’s economic structure of Korea. V-KIST is anticipated to play a major role, as it did in Korea, in nurturing a high value-added heavy and chemical industry for Vietnam’s economic growth.
According to the master plan, the Korean government will give the KOICA an additionl US$35 million to build a research institute with the main building and 300 researchers, and to hand over research equipment and knowhow by September 2017. The Vietnamese government set up infrastructure and a 20 hectare (60,000 pyung) plot of land in Hoa Loc Technopark, a 30 minute drive from the capital of Hanoi.
The research will first focus on electronic materials and component-related industrial technology and biotechnology based on natural products, to nurture Vietnam’s strength. In the long run, it is expected to proceed with developing IT fusion and BT fusion future resource technology.
Both countries are scheduled to launch the project in the first half of the year at the earliest, after detailed negotiations.