(President Shin and representatives of faculty, students, staff celebrate the New Year in a reception held on January 2 at the auditorium.)
The KAIST community gathered to celebrate a fresh start for the year 2018. At the ceremony, held in the auditorium on January 2, members of KAIST community reaffirmed their commitment to be the trailblazers of Korea and beyond through unwavering innovations.
President Sung-Chul Shin presented his new vision and plan in his New Year speech, which focused on innovation for enhancing institutional competitiveness and global visibility. He said that as you are the future of KAIST, KAIST is the future of Korea. KAIST’s vision for a better future will have a significant impact on national progress and beyond. He stressed that innovation in the five pillars of education, research, technology commercialization, globalization, and future strategy will further advance the excellence of KAIST.
At the ceremony, President Shin also presented the award for ‘the KAISTian of the Year’ to Professor YongKeun Park of the Department of Physics. The annual award recognizes a distinguished professor whose academic accomplishments made the most significant impact.
In his New Year speech, President Shin said that the year 2018 will provide an opportunity to take a leap forward for becoming a ‘Global Value Creative, World-Leading University. The Vision 2031 Committee endorsed the five innovation initiatives to fulfill KAIST’s long-term vision and will open its recommendations to the public on March 20.
Educational innovation tops the initiatives. President Shin explained that the future of Korea is in the hands of talented individuals in science and technology, emphasizing the need to nurture creative, transdisciplinary talents with the capacity to enhance the social value of science and technology.
To this end, KAIST will establish a new undergraduate non-departmental program for transdisciplinary education. This plan will eventually provide students with more options in choosing their major, as well as help students build a strong foundation in basic science and engineering and encourage multidisciplinary approaches.
For creating an innovative institutional research infrastructure, KAIST plans to build a Network of Excellence for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (NExFire) for convergence research. The plan of ‘Cross-Generational Collaborative Labs,’ will bring out a new collaboration platform by pairing up senior and junior faculty. President Shin said it will be a stepping stone to extend the spectrum of knowledge without any cessation.
For technology commercialization, KAIST will maximize its intellectual property and economic value by stimulating technology-invested companies and startups. Close cooperation with venture capitalists at home and abroad will further accelerate the commercialization drive at KAIST.
Saying that the globalization is no long an option but a necessity, he stressed KAIST will strengthen its efforts to established a bilingual campus. “KAIST will make every effort to create a more welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for the international community and their families. We will expand benefits to our international community, such as access to the KAIST Child Care Center and collaboration with the Taejon Christian International School (TCIS),” he said. President Shin added he will further expand global networks and partnerships this year, participating in a diverse range of international events at home and abroad for increasing global visibility.
He also said that well-designed future strategies will complete innovation initiatives. The Future Strategy Research Center will serve as a think tank for identifying future agendas, establishing strategies and advocating for them.
In addition to the five innovation initiatives, President Shin emphasized a new organizational culture that embraces inclusiveness and mutual respect among all of the members of KAIST.
“So far, the ideal qualifications expected of KAISTians have included creativity and a challenging spirit. From now on, we will nurture talents with a focus on the 3Cs: Creativity, Challenge, and Caring. I would like to make a campus in which all members care for each other to help attain mutual growth with warmth and respect," he said.