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The Need for SMEs to See Potential in Int'l Tech Cooperation   


The need for international technology cooperation is growing due to accelerated openness and competition from a global perspective, including sale of technologies for utilization of external ideas and internal technology value, and conversion of NIS (National Innovation System) into GIS (Global Innovation System) following the recent spread of the open innovation system.

When considering the present reality that warning signs are flashing in technologically advanced economies like the USA, Germany, Japan, etc., securing more extensive and diverse channels through SMEs' global networking can provide cornerstones to attaining an advantageous position for future international technology cooperation businesses.

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy's international technology cooperation support project is classified into parts & materials cooperation businesses and industrial technology cooperation businesses. Centering on the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT), international industrial technology cooperation businesses are being carried out in various forms at the Small & medium Business Corporation (SBC), Korea Technology and Information Promotion Agency (NIPA), Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (KITECH), Korea-Japan Cooperation Foundation for Industry and Technology (KJCF), etc.

To enhance the efficiency of its technology cooperation support system and to provide 'one-stop technology cooperation support service,' KIAT is operating an international technology cooperation portal, GlobalTech Korea (http://www.gtonline.or.kr). This site provides comprehensive information on international technology cooperation programs to strengthen the strategic achievements and networking of international technology cooperation, while establishing an online network through information and business links with related organizations at home and abroad, along with business management.

SBC supports international technology cooperation projects (Korea-Russia and Korea-Spain) as well as international cooperation between enterprises and introduction of overseas technology manpower. NIPA also supports SMEs' international technology cooperation as part of its overseas technology inducement project.

In addition, Korea Association of Industry, Academy and Research Institute (KAIARI) also carries out international industry-academia-research institute cooperation tasks.

KITECH's Korea-Eurasia Industrial Technology Cooperation Center, Korea Polytechnic University's Korea-Russia Technology Cooperation Center and Korea-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (KORIL-RDF) also support international technology cooperation businesses.

To further stimulate international technology cooperation, however, resolution of basic problems is urgently required more than anything else. To accomplish this, several suggestions are forwarded as follows:

First, there is a need to establish policy framework from a national perspective. It is necessary to establish policy directionality and framework that encompasses establishment of a clear vision regarding international industrial technology cooperation, differentiation of programs that consider the characteristics of individual countries, diversification of programs and establishment of technology transfer marketing support businesses, establishment of a pan-national network or cooperation system, an increase in the budget for international industrial technology cooperation, etc.

Second, securing of expertise regarding international industrial technology cooperation partner countries and cultivation of experts is required. It is necessary to nurture 'Technology Transfer Agent' for more active 'Custom-Tailored Consulting by Country' and to build a unified single window to provide accurate information.

Finally, SMEs' mindset regarding international industrial technology cooperation should be enhanced. More often than not, SMEs have either experienced only outflow of technologies due to a lack of capability or suspended international industrial technology cooperation businesses due to a lack of bilateral trust. SMEs, if they pursue competitiveness reinforcement and globalization through R&D, will have to promote international technology cooperation more actively but after more detailed preparation.



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