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KAIST Teams Up with Yozma Group to Nurture Startups
KAIST has joined hands with Israeli venture capital investor Yozma Group to help campus-based startups grow and build success. The two signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on joint technology value creation initiatives at the signing ceremony that was held at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon on April 8. Under the MOU, Yozma Group will make investments and implement acceleration programs for startups established by KAIST professors, graduates, and students, as well as those invested in by the university. Yozma Group already launched a $70 million fund to help grow companies in Korea and Israel. Yozma Group will use the fund as well as its global acceleration know-how and network of over 400 R&D centers across Israel to help promising KAIST startups enter overseas markets. Moreover, Yozma Group also plans to discover and support KAIST startups that need technology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’s leading multidisciplinary basic research institution in natural and exact sciences. KAIST is also in talks to locate Yozma Group’s branch office on the university’s campus to ensure seamless collaborations. KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee explained to Yozma Group’s Founder and Chairman Yigal Erlich and Head of Asia Pacific Won-Jae Lee at the MOU signing ceremony that “startup and technology commercialization are the crucial areas where KAIST will make innovations.” “Cooperation with Yozma Group will help KAIST startups transform their ideas and technologies into real businesses and build a global presence,” he added. Yozma Group started as Yozma Fund, created in conjunction with the Israeli government in 1993 to support the globalization of Israeli startups and to foster the growth of Israel’s venture capital industry. The Fund, which was privatized in 1998, has supported 97 Israeli tech ventures joining the Nasdaq, leading Israel to become a global innovation hub that has the third-most companies listed on the Nasdaq. (END)
Cyber MOU Signing with Zhejiang University
KAIST signed an MOU with Zhejiang University (ZJU) in China on March 25. This MOU signing ceremony took place via video conference due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The collaboration with ZJU had already started with the signing of an MOU for cooperation in technology commercialization last December. Possible cooperation initiatives included facilitating joint start-up businesses, patent portfolios, and technology marketing. With this general agreement signing, it is expected that the two institutes will expand mutual exchanges and collaborations at the institutional level for education and research. President Sung-Chul Shin said, “We will work together to devise measures for the systematic advancement of cooperation in various directions, including education, research, and the commercialization of technologies.” ZJU, a member of the C9 League known as China’s Ivy League, was established in 1897 and is located in the city of Hangzhou. Its population across 37 colleges and schools comprises 54,641 students and 3,741 faculty members. The university was ranked 6th in Asia and 54th in the world in the 2020 QS Rankings. (END)
KAIST GSAI and SNUBH Join Hands for AI in Healthcare
< Dean Song Chong (left) and Director Chang Wan Oh (right) at the KAIST GSAI - SNUBH MOU Signing Ceremony > The Graduate School of AI (GSAI) at KAIST and the Seoul National University Bundang Hospital (SNUBH) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in AI education and research in the field of healthcare last month. The two institutions have agreed to collaborate on research and technology development through the implementation of academic and personnel exchange programs. The GSAI, opened in August 2019 as Korea’s first AI graduate school, has been in the forefront of nurturing top-tier AI specialists in the era of Fourth Industrial Revolution. The school employs a two-track strategy that not only provides students with core AI-related courses on machine learning, data mining, computer vision, and natural language processing, but also a multidisciplinary curriculum incorporating the five key fields of healthcare, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing, security, and emerging technologies. Its faculty members are "the cream of the crop” in their early 40s, achieving world-class performance in their respective fields. SNUBH opened the Healthcare Innovation Park in 2016, the first hospital-led convergence research complex among Korean medical institutions. It is leading future medical research in five specialized areas: medical devices, healthcare ICT, human genetics, nano-machines, and regenerative medicine. The Dean of the GSAI, Song Chong, said, “We have set the stage for a cooperative platform for continuous and efficient joint education and research by the two institutions.” He expressed his excitement, saying, “Through this platform and our expertise in AI engineering and medicine, we will lead future AI-based medical technology.” The Director of the SNUBH Research Division, Chang Wan Oh, stressed that “the mutual cooperation between the two institutions will become a crucial turning point in AI education and research, which is at the core of future healthcare.” He added, “Through a high level of cooperation, we will have the ability to bring about global competitiveness and innovation.” (END)
FIRIC-EU JRC Joint Workshop on Smart Specialization
The Fourth Industrial Revolution Intelligence Center (FIRIC) at KAIST discussed ‘Smart Specialization’ for regional innovation and economic growth in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution during the workshop with the EU Joint Research Center (EU-JRC) in Seville, Spain last week. The two sides also agreed to sign an MOU to expand mutual collaboration. KAIST’s FIRIC was founded in cooperation with the World Economic Forum in July 2017 to carry out policy research for the promotion of science and technology-based inclusive growth and innovation and to lead related global efforts. The EU-JRC has committed to developing cohesive policies that aim to narrow regional gaps within the European Union. Founded in 1958 in Brussels, the EU-JRC has long been in charge of EU strategies for regional innovation based on emerging technologies. The workshop also covered issues related to public-private partnerships and innovation clusters from the perspective of the EU and Asia, such as the global value chain and the implementation of industrial clusters policy amid the changes in the industrial ecosystem due to digitalization, automation, and the utilization of robotics during the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, the session included discussions on inclusive growth and job market changes in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, addressing how Smart Specialization and the outcomes of the 4IR will shift the paradigm of current job and technology capabilities, as well as employment issues in many relevant industries. In particular, the actual case studies and their related policies and regulatory trends regarding the potential risks and ethical issues of artificial intelligence were introduced. Regarding the financial services that utilize blockchain technologies and the establishment of public sector governance for such technologies, the participating experts noted difficulties in the diffusion of blockchain-based local currencies or public services, which call for a sophisticated analytical and practical framework for innovative and transparent governance. Dr. Mark Boden, the Team Leader of the EU-JRC, introduced the EU’s initiatives to promote Smart Specialization, such as its policy process, governance design, vision sharing, and priority setting, with particular emphasis on targeted support for Smart Specialization in lagging regions. Professor So Young Kim, who is the dean of the Graduate School of Science and Technology Policy and FIRIC’s Deputy Director said, “KAIST’s global role regarding the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be expanded in the process of exploring and developing innovative models of technology-policy governance while working jointly with the EU-JRC.”
KAIST-KU Joint Research Center Opens
The Joint Research Center partnering KAIST and Khalifa University has been completed and the opening of the KAIST center was held on July 5, 2019, following the opening at Khalifa in April. The joint research center will explore the most impactful technologies that will change people’s lives in the face of the new industrial environment brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The breakthroughs include smart transportation and smart healthcare such as wireless electric vehicles, unmanned vehicles, and wearable healthcare devices. The two institutions signed an MOU on the Joint Research Agreement on the Technology Development for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2018. This is the second phase of collaboration following the partnership agreement that was signed in 2010 between the two institutions, which aimed to provide the best science and technology education as well as develop nuclear energy in the UAE. The Khalifa University delegation, headed by Executive Vice President Arif Sultan Al Hammadi and Senior Vice President of Research and Development Steven Griffiths, flew in to attend the ceremony at KAIST. President Sung-Chul Shin, Vice President for Research Hyun Wook Park, Vice President for Planning and Budget Su-chan Chae, Associate Vice President of the International Office Man-Sung Yim joined and Co-Directors of the Joint Research Center Daniel Choi from Khalifa and Jong-Hyun Kim from KAIST also participated in the opening ceremony.
KAIST-KU Joint Research Center for Smart Healthcare & Transportation
(President Shin shakes hands with KU acting Presidedent Arif Al Hammdi at the KAIST-KU Joint Research Center opening ceremony on April 8.) KAIST opened the KAIST-Khalifa University Joint Research Center with Khalifa University on April 8. The opening ceremony was held at Khalifa University and was attended by President Sung-Chul Shin and Khalifa University Acting President Arif Al Hammadi. The new research center reflects the evolution of the long-established partnership between the two institutions. The two universities have already made very close collaborations in research and education in the fields of nuclear and quantum engineering. The launch of this center expanded their fields of collaboration to smart healthcare and smart transportation, key emerging sectors in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin signed an MOU with the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Science Sarah Amiri and Khalifa University to expand mutual collaboration in technology development and fostering human capital last year. The center will conduct research and education on autonomous vehicles, infrastructure for autonomous vehicle operation, wireless charging for electric vehicles, and infrastructure for electric autonomous vehicles. As for smart healthcare, the center will focus on healthcare robotics as well as sensors and wearable devices for personal healthcare services. President Shin, who accompanied a research team from the Graduate School of Green Transportation, said, “We are very delighted to enter into this expanded collaboration with KU. This partnership justifies our long-standing collaboration in the areas of emerging technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution while fostering human capital.” KU Acting President Arif Al Hammadi added, “The outcome of these research projects will establish the status of both institutions as champions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, bringing benefits to our communities. We believe the new research center will further consolidate our status as a globally active, research-intensive academic institution, developing international collaborations that benefit the community in general.”
Team KAT Wins the Autonomous Car Challenge
(Team KAT receiving the Presidential Award) A KAIST team won the 2018 International Autonomous Car Challenge for University Students held in Daegu on November 2. Professor Seung-Hyun Kong from the ChoChunShik Graduate School of Green Transportation and his team participated in this contest with the team named KAT (KAIST Autonomous Technologies). The team received the Presidential Award with a fifty million won cash prize and an opportunity for a field trip abroad. The competition was conducted on actual roads with Connected Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), which incorporate autonomous driving technologies and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system. In this contest, the autonomous vehicles were given a mission to pick up passengers or parcels. Through the V2X communication, the contest gave current location of the passengers or parcels, their destination, and service profitability according to distance and level of service difficulty. The participating vehicles had to be equipped very accurate and robust navigation system since they had to drive on narrow roads as well as go through tunnels where GPS was not available. Moreover, they had to use camera-based recognition technology that was invulnerable to backlight as the contest was in the late afternoon. The contest scored the mission in the following way: the vehicles get points if they pick up passengers and safely drop them off at their destination; on the other hand, points are deducted when they violate lanes or traffic lights. It will be a major black mark if a participant sitting in the driver’s seat needs to get involved in driving due to a technical issue. Youngbo Shim of KAT said, “We believe that we got major points for technical superiority in autonomous driving and our algorithm for passenger selection.” This contest, hosted by Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, was the first international competition for autonomous driving on actual roads. A total of nine teams participated in the final contest, four domestic teams and five teams allied with overseas universities such as Tsinghua University, Waseda University, and Nanyang Technological University. Professor Kong said, “There is still a long way to go for fully autonomous vehicles that drive flexibly under congested traffic conditions. However, we will continue to our research in order to achieve high-quality autonomous driving technology.” (Team KAT getting ready for the challenge)
Open Online Course in Science and Technology, STAR-MOOC
Four universities specializing in science and technology, along with POSTECH and UST, teamed up to establish programs for innovation in education programs, responding to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. KAIST held an opening ceremony for the Science & Technology Advanced Research - Massive Open Online Course (STAR-MOOC) and signed an MoU with GIST, DGIST, UNIST, POSTECH, and UST. STAR-MOOC was launched on February 26 to provide educational service to the public. It is a joint platform where people can take courses featuring lectures from professors from universities specializing in science and technology as well as national research universities. It offers 15 courses covering basics, majors, and electives related to science and technology developed by the STAR-MOOC committee. Students can take a variety of courses. At the opening ceremony, KAIST President Sung-Chul Shin, DGIST President Sang Hyuk Son, UST President Kil Choo Moon, POSTECH Vice President Wankyun Chung, UNIST Vice President Jae Sung Lee, GIST Vice President of Public Affairs Pil-hwan Park came to sign the MoU for provising educational services for the public. During the ceremony, there was also time to introduce a technical agreement with a non-profit organization founded by NAVER, the CONNECT Foundation, for its courses and platform. Universities participating in STAR-MOOC will put effort into capacity building in response to changes driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. President Shin said, “STAR-MOOC is a platform that provides science and technology courses from basics to electives and major courses. It will become a leading educational platform.” Students can register and choose courses from the website (http://starmooc.kr).
Hubo Completes New Mission at the Winter Olympic Torch Relay
KAIST-born humanoid robot, Hubo, completed its special new mission: carrying the Olympic torch. The Winter Olympics will be held in PyeongChang for two weeks beginning February 9. On December 11, the final leg of the torch relay in Daejeon for the PyeongChang Olympics 2018 took place inside KAIST. A city known for science and technology hosted special torch relay runners over three days. Hubo arrived at the campus with Dr. Dennis Hong, a professor from the University of California at Los Angeles, in an autonomous vehicle. Then, Hubo received the flame from Professor Hong. Hubo, a robot developed by Professor Jun Ho Oh from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST, is best known for being the winner of the DARPA Robotics Challenge in 2015. Hubo successfully completed its Olympic mission. That is, it had to drill through a wall to deliver the torch to the next runner. After completing the mission successfully, the torch was passed to Professor Oh. He ran a few steps and handed it over to the last runner of the Daejeon leg. The last runner was Jung Jae Lee, who is a winning team member of the Samsung Junior Software Cup. Lee also had the honor of riding and controlling FX-2 which is another robot developed by Professor Oh for this peace torch relay. FX-2 took a few steps to finalize the relay. Lee said, “I would like to become an expert in security. As I was riding the robot, I felt every step I took was one step closer to achieving of making major developments in the field of security. Professor Oh said, “It is meaningful to see humans and robots cooperating with each other to carry out the torch relay.” The torch relay, participated in by both humans and robots in Daejeon, was successfully completed and the torch headed off to Boryeong, Chungcheongnam-do.
KAIST-WEF Roundtable on Inclusive Growth and Job Creation
The World Economic Forum (WEF) will join KAIST in an effort to address sweeping global problems in the wake of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The two will co-host a roundtable on ‘Shaping Korea’s Priorities for Inclusive Growth and Job Creation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ on October 13 at Lotte Hotel in Seoul. The roundtable will bring together leaders from government, industry, universities, and non-profit civic organizations to have an in-depth discussion on a thought-provoking agenda of inclusive growth and job creation which scientific and technological changes will bring about. The event will provide a platform to explore practical collaboration and innovative strategies for better job creation and innovation ecosystems. The two will also sign an MOU for collaboration between the Fourth Industrial Revolution Information Center (FIRIC) of KAIST and the WEF Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR). President Sung-Chul Shin of KAIST and the Head of the WEF Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Murat Sonmez, will lead the panel discussion titled ‘Inclusive Growth and the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ which will be attended by leaders from government, industry, and non-profit civic organizations. At the breakout sessions, the topics will be “Future Jobs” and the “Creation of Innovation Ecosystems”. Additionally, a discussion on the “SME 4.0 Initiative”, which is a program pushed forward by KAIST in collaboration with local governments, will talk about job creation through innovation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The WEF will introduce their two-year activities and research on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which have great potential and a high possibility of successfully undergoing the revolution, to Korea. Since WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab brought up the topic of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the WEF has been leading agenda topics and discussions on high-profile matters, including ‘technology-driven but human-centered inclusive growth’ in predicting the future of jobs. The WEF is a nonprofit organization committed to addressing the world’s weightiest problems. It is best known for its annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland, which attracts leaders from around the world. KAIST has been participating in this summit since 2009. President Shin will also attend the upcoming Davos summit next January. Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee who heads the KAIST Institute and the FIRIC is the co-chair of the Global Council on Biotechnology and a member of the Global Future Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the WEF. Moreover, President Shin and Mr. Sonmez will explain the background of the roundtable and share the results of the sessions at a joint news conference.
Professor Shin Honored Posthumously for Iridescent Microparticles
(The Late Professor Joong-Hoon Shin (left) and Professor Shin-Hyun Kim) A research team co-led by Professor Shin-Hyun Kim from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Professor Jong-Ryul Jeong from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Chungnam National University developed iridescent microparticles with a structural color gradient. The research team posthumously dedicated their research to a renowned professor in the field of nanophotonics, the late Professor Joong-Hoon Shin of the Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology at KAIST. He passed away suddenly in a car accident last September. The iridescent microparticles, which allow on-demand control over structural color, will be key components for next-generation reflection-mode displays with clear color realization even in direct sunlight. Materials such as opals, Morpho butterfly wings, and peacock feathers all display beautiful colors without pigment, using regularly-spaced nanostructures. Regularly-spaced nanostructures render color, by selectively reflecting the light of a particular wave through light interference. As such, materials that possess periodic modulation of refractive index at subwavelength scale are referred to as photonic crystals. In general, photonic crystals are only able to display a single color, so limitations exist when attempting to apply them to reflection-mode displays which call for multiple structural colors. The research team addressed the issue using inspiration from snowflakes stacking in the winter. When snow falls on the surface of a round-shaped structure, the thickness of the snow stacking differs depending on the orientation. Based on this observation, the research team created photonic microparticles with a structural color gradient by depositing two different materials on spherical microparticles. When some material is deposited on the surface of a sphere, the material on the top is thickest and becomes thinner on the sides. The team alternately deposited titania and silica on the spherical microparticles to form periodic modulation of the refractive index. The thickness of the alternating photonic layers is reduced along the angle from the top, which yields a structural color gradient. Consequently, the microparticles reflect long-wavelength red light from the top of the sphere and short-wavelength blue light from the side of the sphere. Any color of the visible spectrum can be selected in between the top and side depending on the orientation of the microparticles. The research team used an external magnetic field as a way to control the orientation of the photonic microparticles and the structural colors. As magnetic iron layer was deposited underneath the alternating photonic layer, it was possible to freely control the orientation of the microparticles using a magnet, thereby allowing control of the color seen by the users. KAIST doctoral candidate Seung Yeol Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is the first author of this research, with support from the Midcareer Researcher Program of the National Research Foundation and funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP). This research was published in the online edition of Advanced Materials on February 6, 2017. Figure1: Sets of an OM image of photonic Janus microspheres and an SEM image showing a cross-section of the photonic layers. Figure 2: A series of schematics and OM images showing the color change depending on the orientation angle of the photonic Janus microsphere.
KAIST, NTU, and Technion Collaborate for Research in Emerging Fields
KAIST, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) of Singapore, and Technion of Israel signed an agreement on April 11, 2016 in Seoul to create a five-year joint research program for some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial areas: robotics, medical technologies, satellites, materials science and engineering, and entrepreneurship. Under the agreement, the universities will also offer dual degree opportunities, exchange visits, and internships. In the picture from the left, Bertil Andersson of NTU, Sung-Mo Kang of KAIST, and Peretz Lavie of Technion hold the signed memorandum of understanding.
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