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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.”
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