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Today, December 17, 2020, the United States and the Republic of Korea convened virtually for the 10th Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) Policy Dialogue to further strengthen collaboration between our world-class scientific communities.

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) Director Kelvin Droegemeier opened the JCM and emphasized the importance of the U.S.- Republic of Korea science and technology relationship.  Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science, Space, and Health, Jonathan Margolis, co-chaired the discussion, which included leaders and experts from OSTP, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), and other representatives of the U.S. interagency.  Minister of Science and ICT Choi Kiyoung, led for the Korean delegation, and highlighted the JCM as a great opportunity for both countries to prosper together through science and technology cooperation in the COVID-19 era.  Director-General Heekwon Jung of the International Cooperation Bureau of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) co-chaired the discussion, which included representatives from MSIT, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Research Foundation of Korea, and other representatives of the Korean interagency.

The JCM was convened under the bilateral Agreement Relating to Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Korea.

The United States and Korea have a long and productive history of partnership in areas that are shaping the future.  The strong history of science and technology collaboration between the two nations is reflected in vibrant relationships at the researcher-to-researcher level, growing links at institutional levels, and a range of government-to-government activities.  A good example of the success stemming from bilateral science cooperation is the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), which was founded in 1966 by our two governments.

This JCM undertook a meaningful exchange of views of timely policy matters affecting the functioning of our domestic and international research ecosystems; namely, related to research integrity and supporting the S&T enterprise during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Included in these discussions were lessons learned to strengthen the research enterprise and best practices to protect research and development, including from foreign interference.  Participants highlighted existing and potentially new collaboration as outcomes of the event.

The United States and Republic of Korea prioritize research and development that benefits citizens and is rooted in a shared commitment to foundational scientific values and principles, including freedom of inquiry, merit-based competition, accountability, openness, transparency, and reciprocity.  The two governments strive to promote safe, secure, and inclusive research environments, and to find opportunities to reduce administrative workloads.  Both parties discussed working together on ensuring the integrity of the international research enterprise .

The United States and Korea continue to fight COVID-19 together.  For example, the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which provides researchers worldwide with rapid access to the world’s most powerful computing resources to advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus.  Speakers at the JCM highlighted areas where, by working closely together, the United States and Korea can meet common challenges by supporting researchers affected by the pandemic, seeking new ways to work with virtual learning environments, creating new public-private partnerships, and more.

This JCM reaffirmed both countries’  commitment to continue close partnership and coordination on science and technology cooperation.

U.S. Department of State

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