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Lee Myung-bak: Research Investment Should Be Increased to 5 Percent of GDP

Lee Myung-bak: Research Investment Should Be Increased to 5 Percent of GDP

Posted November. 02, 2007 07:05,   


GNP’s presidential hopeful Lee Myung-bak said on November 1, “Korea should establish a national strategy to turn from a technique importing country into a technique exporting country.

At a meeting held at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in Seongbuk-gu, Seoul and hosted by the Korean Federation of Technology Societies, candidate Lee said, “Before it is too late, Korea needs to map out a new national strategy in the field of science technology and education so that it can be in a position to export techniques.”

He also said, “I hope Korea will produce some Nobel laureates in the science field rather than Nobel Peace Prize laureates. I will make efforts to attract talented foreigners and create a favorable environment for research,” which was greeted with loud applause.

Afterwards, Lee proposed an action plan with five strategies and two core initiatives in order to turn Korea into a technique-exporting nation. The five strategies include training global talent in science technology fields by fostering promising gifted children and attracting global scientists, raising the R&D investment budget from the current three percent to five percent of GDP, supporting new convergence industries, which are arising as a future potential growth engine, providing scientists with a creative research environment and minimizing the government’s interference by restructuring the science field, and popularizing science by improving the primary-secondary school education system.

The two main projects refer to establishing a “Global Science Business Belt,” which could become a Korean Silicon Valley, incorporating Chungcheong Province, Daedeok Science Town, Osong Bio Industrial Complex, and Ochang Science Complex into a single economic zone, and making Korea energy independent by developing renewable energy technologies.

At the meeting, Lee was delighted to meet nine-year-old science genius Song Yoo-geun and said, “Do I become a genius as well when I grasp a hand of a genius?”