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Interview with Mr. Niu Xiaoming, President of SAST-SIST

In April 2014, STEPI and Shanghai Academy of Science and Technology (SAST)-Shanghai Industry Technology Institute (SITI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding through which both organizations agreed to build a cooperative relationship and work together utilizing science and technology policy to enhance industrial innovation capacity. Since then, there has been active discussions between the experts from both sides via various events such as conferences, seminars etc. and recently in January 2015, Advisory Committee was established to engage in sharing of knowledge and ideas. Mr. Niu Xiaoming, the President of SAST-SITI expressed his expectations and high hopes for the special relationship between the two parties.

SAST has gone through an organizational change in recent years by establishing a new institute –SITI- within SAST. What is the background for such transition and how does SITI’s function coordinate with SAST’s mission?

The SAST’s reform and the construction of SITI are designed to adapt new trend of global science and technology development, and to implement Shanghai government’s requirements for SAST in the new age. The mission of SITI is to organize all local R&D resources to promote technology transfer, explore new favorable system for S&T development, as well as cultivate innovative culture. SITI will also play the role of a professional innovation platform for SMEs to provide services of new products development by allying other research institutes and associations as innovation partners to work together. We wish SITI will become one of the leading and open institutes in applied technology research, cutting-edge industries incubation and global collaboration.

Since signing the MOU between STEPI and SAST-SITI in April 2014, there has been active cooperation for example joint-seminar and forum were held. How do you foresee cooperation between the two organizations from this stage forward?

SAST and STEPI built a very good cooperative foundation during last year. In 2015, SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center further improved its organization structure by establishing Advisory Committee, and experts from each side are planning to have a deep discussion on future cooperation by focusing on both interests, especially regarding concerns on how Shanghai will be an S&T innovation center with global influence. Looking forward to the future, we hope China-Korea collaboration will be strengthened and confirm specific topics of interests to both sides through dialogue and discussion. We believe our cooperation will be successful and create a better future with our joint efforts.

Whilst SAST dedicates itself to developing applied technologies and related services to the society, STEPI is a think-tank in the area of science and technology policy. Could you please tell us what you hope to gain from STEPI’s expertise?

SAST has an open mind in international learning and collaboration on the basis of multi win-win. SAST focuses on applied technology research and industrialization, and it strives to be a leading industrial think-tank. STEPI on the other hand, has fruitful research achievements in S&T policy so we think our two organizations are highly complementary and our cooperation has bright prospects. We hope to learn new innovation methodology, new policy system design, experience about S&T development as well as the success of high-tech enterprises, especially the know-how and knowledge of start-ups and international giants. On this basis of learning and collaboration, SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center will play the role as cross border communication platform and achieve some excellent decision-making consulting outcomes.

STEPI-SAST-SITI Global Innovation Center is established in both Seoul and Shanghai. How do you plan to utilize the Center and what do you expect to achieve from it?

First of all, after a few years of efforts, we hope SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center will become a real global innovation center. Chinese central government clearly put forward a requirement to Shanghai to be a global S&T innovation center in the future. President Xi Jinping and President Park Geun-hye have reached a consensus of cooperation between the two countries in many aspects, which has positive significance for perfecting the construction of SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center. From all the conditions, we both have strong advantages and can play a complementary role in innovation methodology, new industries, technology transfer and bilateral S&T communication.

Secondly, we should further explore technology foresight in face of global challenge of economic downturn and ecological crisis. SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center can become a window of Korean advanced technologies and a channel to introduce innovative ideas. Moreover, based on SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center, we can attract more international enterprises and academies to join in and make it to become a global innovation community.

Thirdly, we hope SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center can become a China-Korea collaboration platform. We have set up the Advisory Committee and we should start working now. In academic respects, SAST-SITI-STEPI Global Innovation Center can arrange some bilateral projects focusing on technology foresight, R&BD, S&T policy, innovation management and technology transfer under the background of global S&T innovation center. SAST will actively provide all conditions to start these kinds of research projects. Chief Secretary from both sides should work together to make to-do lists and set priorities. We believe that we will have a good beginning and can do better by relying on the diligent efforts from both sides.
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