Swedish Perspectives at KEY Platform 2019

For the seventh year running, Seoul hosted the conference K.E.Y Platform. “K.E.Y” representing the organisers desire to “Knock around ideas” to get “Educated’ and “Yield everything” during the conference. This year, the focus was searching for Korea’s economic future and Sweden contributed in a special session “On the Road to a Better Tomorrow Built on Scientific and Technological Innovation”.

The Swedish Ambassador to Seoul, Mr Jakob Hallgren, was introduced as Keynote Speaker and a video commemorating the 60 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and the Republic of Korea. Ambassador Hallgren took note in his presentation that global industrial and technological developments are faced with geopolitical and economic headwinds, and that it is all the more reason for innovation leaders and open economies like the Korean and Swedish, to further a lively collaboration and friendly relations.

The ambassador’s keynote presentation was followed by an introductory talk hosted by the president of Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), Ms Hee-Yoon Choi, on the topic of Future Technologies and Regulations. After an introduction by the president of Korea Institute of Science and Technology Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP), Sang-Seon Kim, two Swedish speakers were invited to reflect on a few keywords suggested by the moderator. Anders Hektor, Science and Innovation Counsellor at the Swedish Embassy in Seoul, reflected on Socio-Technical factors necessary to deal effectively with e.g. air-pollution and how Sweden dealt with serious air quality problems in the 1970’s. Lisa Eriksson, Head of Innovation at KTH Innovation, Royal School of Technology, invited everybody to reflect on the fact that it was 3904 days left to 2030, when the Sustainable Development Goals shall be completed, and suggested we need to change a technology driven perspective to a more holistic driven perspective on innovation development to succeed on meeting the SDG’s.

Two substantive presentations by the Swedish delegation was made. Andreas Göthenberg, Executive Director of the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT), gave a presentation on “Cooperation to Facilitate the Global Expansion of Promising Future Technologies”. In his talk, Andreas focused on the experiences of eleven years of successful collaboration between STINT and the Korean National Research Foundation, NRF, presenting data to show that both Korea and Sweden benefit from research cooperation and that international cooperation is important for innovation.

Joakim Appelquist, Deputy Director General of VINNOVA, the Swedish Innovation Agency, presented on the heading “Clearing Barriers for the Realization of Sustainable Innovations – The Swedish Case”, emphasizing the usefulness of regulatory sandboxing and policy labs to balance stability and prediction with agility and proactivity.

The conference was organised by the Korean media outlet Money Today and had many high-level speakers, indeed, it was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Korea, Lee Nak-Yeon. The program included opinions on the collapse of existing paradigms, Brexit, Trump and China-US trade wars in the light of promising new technologies. Refer to the website for more details: http://eng.keyplatform.or.kr/keyplatform2019.html

The picture shows Andreas Göthenberg, Executive Director at STINT, the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education, Joakim Appelquist, Deputy Director General at VINNOVA, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, Lisa Eriksson, CEO of KTH Innovation, and Anders Hektor, Science and Innovation Counsellor. Photo: MoneyToday