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President Lee Presents Plans to Nurture Next-Generation Talents
President Lee stressed that nurturing medical scientists, semiconductor R&D personnel, startup entrepreneurs, and global innovators are key missions he will continue to pursue during a news conference KAIST President Kwang Hyung Lee said that nurturing medical scientists, semiconductor R&D personnel, startup entrepreneurs, and global innovators are key missions he will continue to pursue during an online news conference marking the 1st anniversary of him becoming the president on February 15. He said that nurturing physician-scientists is the most critical mission for KAIST to help the nation create a new growth engine. He said KAIST will help the nation drive the bio-industry and provide medical science resources for the nation’s health sector. To this end, he said that KAIST will open its Medical Science and Technology School by 2026. “We plan to expand the current Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering into a new Medical Science and Technology School that will focus entirely on a condensed MD-PhD course converging the fields of AI, bio, and physics,” he said. The school aims to foster medical scientists whose research results will eventually be commercialized. He said that the university is now discussing revisions to related laws and regulations with the government and other universities. To supply human resources to the semiconductor industry, President Lee said the university will add a campus in Pyongtaek City that will serve as an advanced convergence research hub in the field of next generation semiconductors in collaboration with Samsung Electronics and the city of Pyongtaek. The three-stage opening plan projected the final opening of the campus by 2036. During the first stage, which will be completed by 2026, it will construct the campus infrastructure in Pyongtaek city where Samsung Semiconductors runs two massive semiconductor complexes. By 2031, it plans to launch the open research platform including a future cities research center and future vehicles research center. The campus will open the global industrial collaboration cluster hub by 2036. In the global arena, President Lee said he is working to open the New York campus with stakeholders in the United States. He announced the plan last December that was endorsed by New York-based entrepreneur Hee-Nam Bae, the chairman of Big Continent Inc. President Lee and Chairman Lee signed an MOU for the funding to open the campus in New York. “We are discussing how to facilitate the plan and best accommodate the interests and potential of our students. Many ideas and plans are on the table and we think it will take longer than expected to finalize the plan,” explained President Lee. However, he added that the basic idea is to offer art tech and health technology programs as well as an AI-based finance MBA at the New York campus, in addition to it serving as the startup accelerator of KAIST. President Lee stressed the importance of technology commercialization when successfully launching KAIST Holdings last month to help spinoffs of KAIST labs accelerate their end results. He said that KAIST Holdings will build a virtuous supporting system to commercialize the technology startups coming from KAIST. “We plan to list at least 10 KAIST startups on the KOSDAQ and two on the NASDAQ by 2031. KAIST Holdings also aims to nurture companies valued at a total of one billion KRW and earn 100 billion KRW in technology fees by 2031.
KAIST Plans to Open a New York Campus
President Lee signs an MOU with New York-based Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae on funding the New York campus President Kwang Hyung Lee announced a plan to open a KAIST campus in New York with funding from New York-based entrepreneur Hee-Nam Bae. President Lee and Big Continent Inc. Chairman Hee-Nam Bae signed the MOU last week for the funding to open the campus in New York. President Lee said it will take years to open up a campus in New York in order to conform with both Korean and US legal procedures. However, during a news conference in New York following the signing of the MOU with Chairman Bae, President Lee said this is the first step toward realizing KAIST’s new vision of a ‘Global Twin Strategy’ by making New York KAIST’s newest stronghold to target both domestic and global markets. “New York is the center of the world’s commerce, culture, and new technologies. If we want to grow big, we should go to one of the biggest cities in the world and New York is the place. I highly encourage our students and faculty go into the world and never be satisfied enjoying the top position in Korea. The next place to investigate will be Silicon Valley,” said President Lee. “We still have many issues to resolve domestically. We need to discuss more details first with the Board of Trustees and the Korean government,” he added. The New York campus will aim to become an enterprise-type university to help KAIST create global value. "Our goal is to make sure that Korean businesses gain competitiveness in the global market and can become listed on the NASDAQ. We plan to open majors related to AI, financial engineering, and cultural technologies. We will recruit students from both the US and KAIST to study at our New York campus.” President Lee said. Chairman Bae, a self-made entrepreneur who immigrated to the US in 1981, also leads the Global Leadership Foundation in the US. “President Lee and I have already toured several candidate sites for the campus in the New York region and we will make a final decision on the best site to purchase,” said Chairman Bae. Chairman Bae added that he has always dreamed of fostering young global talents who will take on global challenges with pioneering minds. He believes KAIST shares this global vision. The New York campus will be the first KAIST campus for global students funded by someone from the private sector. This is also a major step forward for KAIST, which was founded by a six million dollar USAID loan in 1971. KAIST announced its plans to establish Kenya KAIST in 2018 with funding from the Korea Eximbank’s 95 million USD development cooperation fund loan to the Kenyan government. KAIST will provide turn-key-based education consultancy featuring curriculum design and the construction of facilities for Kenya’s first advanced science and technology institute. The campus will be located in the Konza Techno City near Nairobi and plans to open in 2023.
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