KEY Platform 2020: Sharing Swedish values on Science and Innovation post corona

The Corona virus could not stop the opening of K.E.Y. Platform 2020, a signature event of Money Today, an influential economic newspapers in Korea, instead it only added more value on the topic “Post Pandemonium: Advent of a Surrogate...

The Corona virus could not stop the opening of K.E.Y. Platform 2020, a signature event of Money Today, an influential economic newspapers in Korea, instead it only added more value on the topic “Post Pandemonium: Advent of a Surrogate Economy”.

New setting against Corona crisis

According to the organizer Money Today, the size of the event was intentionally downscaled to keep the “social distancing” though there is no certain number of limitations for gathering like in Sweden. A wide table for 3 people-use was set fully for one person, keeping 1.5-2 m distance between the audience. Compared to previous years of large number of audiences with 500-600 people, the banquet room was rather tranquil. It was opened modestly with 100 people in the floor.

In his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Jakob Hallgren said this is the biggest offline event that he attended since February, outbreak of COVID-19 in Korea, and “the fact that the event can be held is a testament to the efficiency of the Korean way of tackling the Corona virus.“

The new era of “Untact”

Increased fear over the COVID-19 generated stronger desire for “untact” exchanges, that emulate contact exchanges. “Untact” is Konglish (Korean – English) for non-contact interactions or non face-to-face exchanges, which you can easily hear and see in Korea these days. Even President Moon uses this neologism in his public speech or cabinet meetings.

Recently, President moon introduced a “New Deal” for new job creation as a national project in his special address to mark three years in his presidency. So-called ‘Korean New Deal’ is a national development strategy aimed at building a country that’s a leader, not a follower. He further commented that non-face-to-face industries, related to medical service, education will be intensively fostered.

New direction in Post COVID-19

First keynote speaker Mr. Sangseon KIM President of Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) presented a new direction of national technology innovation systems in the post covid-19 age. You find his presentation here. He emphasized the significance of S&T these days, and more investment are needed for Korea to be a global leader. As a newly emerging topics brought by the pandemic, he pointed out ►Advent of non-contact society, ►New opportunity for bio market, ►Everyday routine of coping to a crisis, ► Reinforce of nation-centrism, ► Change of Korea’s position in international. He asserted that while strengthening competitiveness is important issue, international cooperation is much more significant as one nation cannot solve this kind of issue by its own.

Ms. Hee-Yoon CHOI, President of Korea Information Science & Technology Institute (KISTI) also shared a same view with Mr. Kim. She insisted that COVID-19 situation has triggered & accelerated the ‘open science’ which is sharing research outcomes among scientists through networks. She underlined safe infrastructure building for bigdata, big network, and big storage to develop a vaccine and making a new solution against COVID-19.

Sharing Swedish approach for innovation

To discuss the science & Technology after the Corona Pandemonium, Swedish experts participated the K.E.Y. Platform both offline and online.

This was the second time to attend the K.E.Y. Platform meeting for Science and Innovation Councellor Anders Hektor. He introduced Innovation Partnership Programs as Swedish government priorities. And took HYBRIT Fossil-free steel project as exemplary case which induces innovation thereby enhancing competitiveness of industry and taking global issues.

Joakim Appelquist, Deputy Director General, Director for International Cooperation at VINNOVA, also participating for the second time, asserted that collaboration among diverse parties are essential to develop innovative solutions. By its complex nature of the issue such as COVID-19, autonomous vehicle, various dimensions need to be considered.

Professor Charles Edquist at Lund University joined the conference online. He introduced National Research Council as an important instrument which contributed to make a holistic innovation policy such as National Government Procurement Strategy developed in 2016.

Seyeong Yoon, Science and Innovation Adviser