Published on 11 May 2024

Building stronger R&D ties with Korean universities and companies

In a special interview with Seoul Economic Daily, NTU President Prof Ho Teck Hua and Vice President (Industry) Prof Lam Khin Yong discussed the development of a 'Korean Silicon Valley', dubbed 'Kick City' - a hub designed to unite industry, academia, and research institutes with the world's leading talents. Short for 'Korea Industry Convergence Knowledge, such an initiative can help to address Korea's demographic challenges and ignite economic growth through an innovation ecosystem, supported by NTU.

Prof Ho underscored Korea's strength in advanced manufacturing and R&D, advocating for the harnessing of top-tier global researchers to create a ripple effect of synergy. During discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education Lee Ju-ho, and First Vice Minister of Trade, Industry, and Energy Kang Kyungsung, Prof Ho affirmed Korea’s potential to become a bastion of R&D, spawning businesses, and employment opportunities. This strategic move, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Korea-Singapore diplomatic relations, can help to attract global researchers and create a synergistic platform for cutting-edge R&D, job creation, and innovative ventures.

In another interview with Kim Hye-yeong from Seoul Economic Network TV, Prof Ho highlighted NTU's consistent ranking among the top universities globally and within Asia. He attributed NTU's rapid growth to its focus on attracting top talent, including through the Nanyang Assistant Professorship scheme, which significantly supports young researchers. NTU's collaborative culture and long-term partnerships with top global companies like Rolls-Royce, Hyundai, and other universities like Sungkyunkwan University and Tsinghua University were also highlighted. In addition, Prof Ho emphasised the interdisciplinary collaboration across its colleges and NTU’s interdisciplinary curriculum that prepares its undergraduates for the future job market and economy. Of note is NTU’s research translation, which turns ideas into intellectual property and products, and supports innovation through various schemes.