The South Korean government has promised Vietnam support for building a Korean-style scientific research institute, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Vietnam and Korea agreed to go ahead with it following discussions between Moon Kil-ju, ex-president of the the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh in Hanoi on March 20.
The cost of the first phase in 2014-17 is estimated at US$70 million, with Korea providing a grant worth half the sum.
The Korean side will help build the main building of a research institute, train 300 researchers, and provide research equipment and knowhow by September 2017.
The Vietnamese government has set up infrastructure on a 20-hectare plot of land in the Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park outside Hanoi.
The research will first focus on electronic materials and component-related industrial technology and biotechnology based on natural products to build on Vietnam’s strengths.
The request for assistance to establish a KIST-like science and technology institute was made by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung during his visit to Korea in 2012.
The project is scheduled to begin in the first half of this year.
Founded in 1966, KIST was the first multi-disciplinary scientific research institute in South Korea and has contributed significantly to the country's economic development, particularly during the years of accelerated growth in the 1970s and 1980s.
It has over 1,800 research scientists, visiting scientists, fellows and trainees, and foreign scientists involved in basic research in various fields of science and technology.
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