In mid-August, more than 1,000 scientists and engineers from the US and South Korea gathered in Dallas, Texas for the annual US-Korea Conference on Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship (UKC). It was the 18thUKC, organized by the Virginia-based Korean-American Scientists and Engineers Association (KSEA) since 1999.
Under the common banner of ‘Enriching Lives through Science and Technology’, the conference provided attendees with a rich program of symposiums, forums, and special programs which covered a wide range of science and engineering topics. During the conference, the participants shared recent scientific developments and discussed the future of US-Korea cooperation on science and technology. This year, special guests included US Congressman Joe Barton (R, TX-6) who attended UKC to give remarks at the opening ceremony, as well as Dr. Bruce Beutler, the 2011 Nobel Laureate in Medicine, and Elizabeth Chu Richter, the CEO of Richter Architects, who delivered speeches at the plenary sessions.
Among the positive outcomes of the conference, two Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed to facilitate US-Korea scientific cooperation. During the conference, KSEA signed a MOU with a leading Korean energy institute, Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER). The agreement includes R&D collaboration and knowledge-sharing on business experience and professional networks. As a part of this agreement, KSEA arranged another MOU between KIER and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), which has a strong reputation for research in the fields of power and energy, representatives of KSEA told Asia Matters for America. The agreement established a framework for KIER and UTA to jointly develop clean energy technologies.
KSEA has over 6,000 registered members, mostly comprised of Korean-American scientists and engineers, and has been contributing to US-Korea collaboration in science and technologies since its establishment in December 1971. UKC is the flagship conference of KSEA, and the next iteration will be held in August, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Jeesu Lee is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and an Asan Washington Young Fellow with the Asan Academy in Seoul.