On the 16th of April 2013, Emeritus Professor Dato’ Sri Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor of the Prime Minister, officiated the Korea-ASEAN Research and Development Cooperation Forum 2013. The event was jointly organised by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy Korea (MOTIE) and Korea Institute of Advancement of Technology (KIAT). According to the President and CEO of MIGHT, En. Mohd Yusoff Sulaiman, the United States (US) National Science Foundation has reported that the total science spending of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam exceeded that of the US with the spending of the countries being at 32 per cent and the spending of the US being at 31 per cent of the global share of spending on science.
The forum was supported by the Malaysia Korea Technology Centre (MyKOR) and it aims to foster and intensify networks in R&D across ASEAN countries and Korea. This is achieved through the promotion and establishment of strategic alliances and cooperation in the areas of technology transfer. In terms of Korean involvement, commercialisation and investment between Korea and ASEAN countries will be conducted. It will initially start off with the participation of Malaysian, Vietnam and Indonesia. Subsequently, it will be expanded to other ASEAN countries. The forum was a one-day event and it mainly involved the participants exchanging ideas regarding the best practices of relevant topics presented by various Korean R&D Institutes such as the Korean Evaluation Institute of Industrial Technology, Korean Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning and Korean Research Council for Industrial Science and Technology.
The Republic of Korea is a technologically advanced nation and its government has, over the years, placed great amount of focus on R&D. This is evident based on the amount of monetary investment into R&D that the government has made. In 2008 alone, the government investment in R&D totaled to about 8.3 billion US$. In addition, compared to other developed countries, Korea is one of the highest in terms of R&D intensity – just behind Japan, Finland and Sweden which has the highest R&D intensity in 2008. Korea’s investment and performances in R&D resulted in a myriad of technological innovations such as the world-famous first wireless broadband (WiBro) technology and active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AM-OLED) for large televisions. Due to these reasons, it was a wise and timely decision for Malaysia along with other ASEAN countries to forge a collaboration with Korea in terms of R&D.
Malaysia is currently aiming to become a high-income country in several years down the road and its scientific partnership with Korea is in line with this aim. Forming partnerships Korea can contribute greatly to the scientific progress of Malaysia through technological and knowledge transfer. Besides Korea, it is imperative that Malaysia forms scientific collaborations with other countries of great global scientific standing such as Japan, US and the United Kingdom. It will require great amount of effort to elevate Malaysia to be on par with the other developed countries but, by forming research collaborations with scientifically advanced countries, it is a stepping stone for Malaysia in its effort to become a technologically advanced country itself.
MiGHT: “Malaysia joins Korea to establish ASEAN R&D network”
‘Chapter 20: Republic of Korea,’ in UNESCO SCIENCE REPORT 2010: The Current Status of Science around the World (Paris, UNESCO Publishing, 2010). 434-452. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0018/001899/189958e.pdf