The United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea have taken on a partnership to elevate their leadership in global science and technology.
Secretary of State Michelle Donelan, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy Bang Moon-kyu, and Minister of Science and ICT Lee Jong Ho are set to sign a series of tech agreements at the Royal Society. This move forms part of a landmark Accord, enhancing the already strong UK-Republic of Korea relationship.
Shared Vision for Innovation and Technology
Both nations, ranking in the top five of the Global Innovation Index, will collaborate closely on critical technologies like AI, quantum, and semiconductors. This partnership aims to foster job creation and stimulate economic growth. The collaboration will feature a new £4.5 million fund to support joint research and innovation initiatives. This fund is a continuation of the momentum gained from the AI Safety Summit, which both the UK and the Republic of Korea are planning to co-host next year.
Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan expressed the shared values and challenges both countries face, emphasizing their commitment to future-proofing their relationship. “The Republic of Korea is a tech powerhouse, and a vital partner to the UK,” she noted.
Deepening Collaboration in Key Areas
The collaboration includes several key areas:
AI Development: Both countries commit to accelerating the development of safe, responsible AI, reinforcing their democratic values and building on the achievements of the AI Safety Summit.
Semiconductor Cooperation: A new Framework for Semiconductor Cooperation will enhance collaboration on skills, R&D, supply chain resilience, and deepen industry links.
Digital Partnership: A broad new Digital Partnership will boost joint work in data, telecoms, AI, and digital competition.
Space Exploration: A Memorandum of Understanding on space cooperation will bring their space industries closer and pave the way for joint space endeavors.
Quantum Technology Dialogue: The countries will include talent exchanges to advance quantum technology.
Engineering Biology Cooperation: A commitment to closer cooperation in this field includes the establishment of a joint synthetic biology research center.
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Investing in Future Research and Innovation
The Royal Society and the National Research Foundation of Korea will invest up to £4.5 million in the UK-ROK International Collaboration Awards. This initiative, supported by the International Science Partnerships Fund, is designed to foster emerging UK and Korean research leaders. Innovate UK will further invest over £8 million into innovation programmes with the Republic of Korea, focusing on critical technologies like semiconductors.
Strengthening Global Science Ties
This partnership is part of a series of international science deals the UK has signed recently, including collaborations with countries like India, Switzerland, and South Africa. It demonstrates the UK’s commitment to deepening global science collaboration and unlocking breakthroughs with international colleagues.
The Accord not only strengthens the UK and the Republic of Korea’s scientific and technological ties but also sets a precedent for international cooperation in facing global challenges through innovation. As the world’s economies become increasingly interdependent, such partnerships are vital for sustainable growth and technological advancement.