New Year’s Address
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- Date : 2014-01-02
The year of Gabo has dawned. With the energy of the blue horse racing ahead at full speed, 2014 will be another year in which the Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology takes off.
First, I would like to congratulate all 2013 award recipients, whose special accomplishments contributed greatly to the advancement of this organization. We did hold an awards ceremony on December 26th at the year-end party, but I would like to take this opportunity to once again offer my most sincere congratulations and gratitude to Dr. Park Heung-Sik[KH1] , winner of the KIOST Person of the Year award, all recipients of divisional awards, and members of the Ocean Plant Research Division, budget team, and all others who received department evaluation awards.
2013 was a special year for all of us. With the start of a new administration and the reinstatement of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, we reestablished the identity and duties of KIOST. October marked our fortieth anniversary, for which we took a look back at our accomplishments through the publication of a KIOST history and various commemorative events.
There were many noteworthy accomplishments. The research teams of Dr. Kug Jong Seong of the Earth Climate Change Research Center[KH2] and Dr. Yim Hyung-Soon of the Marine Biotechnology Research Division published an article in the world-renowned Nature (sister publication Nature Geoscience), again proving the strength of KIOST research. Also, the successful testing of Minero, the deep sea mineral resource mining robot, on the ocean floor 1,340m below sea level for the first time in the world was highly memorable.
In particular, in light of China’s declaration of CADIZ, the value of the Ieodo Ocean Research Station (built in 2003) stands out ever more greatly. The reevaluation of the importance of ocean science technology, which makes physical and immediate contributions to national economic and social development, is a long overdue but nevertheless meaningful act.
Furthermore, with the broadening of research infrastructure through designation as the operating body of the Ulleungdo Dokdo Ocean Research Station and the construction of the Jeju International Marine Science Research and Support Center, receiving the Jang Bogo grand prize, multiple externally-awarded prizes for the Ocean Science Library, and designation as a family-friendly organization, 2013 was a year full of invaluable achievements that raised the status of KIOST both domestically and abroad. All of these go beyond the efforts of individual departments to be the harvest of all KIOST members. To all members of the KIOST family: thank you.
It is now time for us to lay to rest the colorful accomplishment record of 2013 and think about the new changes and challenges we face in the future.
Socioeconomically speaking, experts predict that the global trend of low-growth will continue and that the speed of economic recovery will be gradual. Amidst this situation, the Korean government is requesting that national research institutions take charge of the state’s R&D platform functions.
Internally, we expect to see even more rapid change in our environment. As you are already aware, there will be a new president in May along with a new leadership body to lead KIOST. I am thinking a great deal about what I should do in the five months I have left. By racing without rest for the past five years and six months, we have reaped accomplishments beyond our expectations, but there are still several issues that have yet to be resolved. In the time that remains, I plan to objectively analyze our current status and make this the basis of plans for future activities.
Also, from January 1, 2014, the Maritime & Ocean Engineering Research Institute was founded as an affiliated organization. Just as a child who is married is still a member of his or her natal family, the Maritime and Ocean Engineering Research Institute and the Republic of Korea Polar Research Institute will both continue to embody the KIOST identity in each of their specialized fields. In order to take an active role in supporting these organizations, KIOST plans to establish an effective overall control mechanism.
Taking into consideration such changes in the internal and external environments, I would like to propose the direction of organizational management for 2014 as follows.
First, in the management sector, we will pursue the ideals of “practical management,” “right path management,” and “energizing management” in order to provide our employees a stable management environment that makes possible hopes and dreams for the future.
Above all, we will do our utmost to ensure that issues arising as a result of drastic changes to personnel or budget due to the Maritime and Ocean Engineering Research Institute, execution of audit results given by the Board of Audit and Inspection, and relocation of headquarters to Busan create as few impediments to operations as possible. Also, with strong social demand for ethical management of public institutions, we will do our best to strengthen “right path management” and “ethical management” based on adherence to regulation and principle. Through on-site communication, we will create an energetic and positive corporate culture.
Second, in the research sector, in conjunction with following government policy, we will place top priority on discovering and cultivating new research projects to maintain KIOST’s superior research capability.
With the government’s emphasis on securing new areas of economic growth and acting as the hub of the new “creative economy” through the R&D of national research institutions, we plan to broaden the scale of commercialization and industrialization of our research findings so that ocean science technology can make tangible contributions to the realization of a “creative economy.” In particular, based on state mandates to the ocean and fisheries sector and the agenda of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, we will contribute to the “creation of a new 8 trillion won market within the next five years and 20,000 new jobs” by establishing specific action plans and preparing a basis for their sustained execution.
Third is the area of international cooperation.
2013 was a year of stabilization of our various research activities centered on our overseas research centers and labs. In a global era that places increasing emphasis on international cooperation, KIOST’s overseas centers are not only the platforms of joint international research and cooperation but also bridgeheads for the broadening of Korean research infrastructure overseas.
We will broaden the boundaries of KIOST support funding so that Korean scientists of not only certain fields but ocean science technology in general can conduct a more diverse variety of joint research with eminent research institutions throughout the world.
Fourth, we will invest more effort into settling in place a system for cultivating talented individuals to lead our future. In 2014, 12 M.A. students and 3 Ph.D. students will be entering the Ocean Science and Technology School. Discussions with Pukyong National University and Pusan National University on bachelor’s degree cooperative programs are currently in progress. In order to secure a unique brand of academic certification, we will waste no effort in creating a systematic structure based on extensive experience and preparation.
Last is the research infrastructure sector.
Together with the Pacific Ocean Research Center currently under construction and the construction for the Jeju International Marine Science Research and Support Center that began in November 2013, we will broaden the field of KIOST research even further.
Although there were difficulties concerning adjustment of total area with the construction of Busan’s new government office complex, we will make sure that construction begins in the first half of 2014 as soon as the site sale contract is signed based on the blueprint finalized last year.
At the starting point of 2014, I would like to take a moment to consider the true meaning of the Chinese saying, “create something new based on the old.” Here, the word “create” takes on special meaning. Contrary to creation by the gods, creation by mankind depends on the continuity of promises and the timing of individual efforts. In other words, “creation” means the existence of the past and future within the efforts of the present moment. Also, while creation by the gods refers to creating something out of nothing, creation by human beings is the endless attachment of something new to an already existing entity. It is the promise that the person following will staunchly carry on what the person in front has achieved.
In this context, it is my hope that all of us at KIOST can create a better tomorrow based on the foundation of wisdom and knowledge forged by previous ocean scientists.
We are already opening up the next 40 years on the shoulders of the first 40. We are on the road toward becoming a global leader of ocean science technology.
In the new year of 2014, let us take boundless pride in the name of KIOST, which we have maintained and protected with our passion for the ocean. Let us feel a heavy sense of responsibility to meet the demands of our country and people. Let us create another year in which we together run forward.
I hope the new year brings health and happiness to the entire KIOST family.
2014. 1. 2
Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology
President Kang Jung Keuk
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