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News & Event

News & Event

[The 160th KISTEP Wednesday Forum] Dual use technology and innovation challenge R&D promotion strategy

  • Writer KISTEP
  • Date2023-08-18
  • Hit546

The Internet, GPS, and drone technologies developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are representative examples of spin-off of technologies created in the defense sector to the private sector. Korea is also supporting the development of civil and military combined technologies in various fields such as space source technology and core materials with the goal of becoming the world's 6th largest national defense S&T powerhouse, but there is still a long way to go.

 

In this regard, a forum was prepared to explore various R&D approaches that can promote the convergence between fields, focusing on technology development for both civil and military use, and to discuss the future directions of R&D in Korea.



KISTEP held the 160th KISTEP Wednesday Forum on July 12 under the theme of 'Dual use technology and innovation challenge R&D promotion strategy'.

 

△ Byung-Seon Jeong, President of KISTEP

Byung-Seon Jeong, President of KISTEP

 

In the opening remarks, President Byung-Seon Jeong said, "Building a strong military by applying cutting-edge S&T is crucial to the national defense while civilian S&T industry aims to create new technologies by contributing to economic security and growth based on world-class achievements through creative and challenging research. As in the case of DARPA's technology development, the private sector and the military should cooperate to develop and commercialize innovative civil-military compatible technologies, support the construction of high-tech military forces, and seek ways to create enormous economic ripple effects in the civil sector. Based on the discussions today, KISTEP will discover policies in the future and help the government in its policy planning."


Dr. Hyung-Gon Ryu, Director of the Policy Research Center at the Korean Institute of Defense Technology (KIDET), gave a presentation on "Dual use technology and innovation challenge R&D promotion strategy."


△ Hyung-Gon Ryu, Director of the Policy Research Center at the Korean Institute of Defense Technology (KIDET)

Hyung-Gon Ryu, Director of the Policy Research Center at the Korean Institute of Defense Technology (KIDET)

 

In the presentation, Dr. Ryu said, "The dual use technology is a technology in which civil-military technological cooperation (Spin-On, Spin-Off, Spin-Up) can be achieved. When civil-military technological cooperation is activated, strengthening industrial competitiveness in the civil sector and reinforcement of military power in the defense sector can be achieved at the same time. Korea has developed dual use technology through civil-military technical cooperation or utilized it in the civil or national defense fields to create various achievements such as unmanned surface ships for coastal surveillance and reconnaissance and transmission and reception modules for ultra-high-speed optical communication."


"Securing future innovative technologies has become more important due to changes in future warfare, such as expansion of battlefield space, diversity of combat means, and informatization of combat types," he explained. He also emphasized that "(Spin-On) Transfer of private technology to national defense (Spin-On) Implementation of defense technology development tasks by private industry, academia and research institute (Spin-Off) Civil transfer and commercialization of innovative dual use technology developed through defense R&D, (Spin-Up) Inter-departmental R&D cooperation method are necessary to activate the use of innovative dual use technology in the future," adding an explanation of the limitations and difficulties related to the promotion of each method.


He made policy recommendations, exphasizing the importance of the operation of the national defense track within the innovation challenge national R&D projects, the activation of civil-military-linked R&D projects, the expansion of bases for the development, accumulation, and utilization of innovative dual-use technology, and the establishment of legal grounds and governance.


In the panel discussion presided over by Seung-su Jun (Director General of the Office of National R&D Coordination, KISTEP), participants including Jae-Kwan Ryu (Director of the Unmanned Systems Research Center, LIG Nex1), Laehyun Kim (Director of the Center for National Defense Technology Strategy, KIST), Youngsoo Ahn (Professor of Department of Military Studies, Seokyeong University), Ji-Ho Hwang (Director General of the Office of Future Technology Strategy), and Byung-Seon Jeong (President of KISTEP) had an in-depth discussion.

 

(clockwise) △ Seung-su Jun, Jae-Kwan Ryu, Laehyun Kim, Byung-Seon Jeong, Ji-Ho Hwang, Youngsoo Ahn

(clockwise) Seung-su Jun, Jae-Kwan Ryu, Laehyun Kim, Byung-Seon Jeong, Ji-Ho Hwang, Youngsoo Ahn


Dr. Jae-Kwan Ryu said, "Dual use technology is being developed in various ways, but there are limits to its practical use. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect and link military demand and develop policies and roadmaps for planning and management to expand cooperation with future innovation centers of the three services and induce corporate participation."


Dr. Laehyun Kim said, "Defense demand is less marketable than private demand, and participation by SMEs with innovative technologies is low due to the inflexibility of task management. Therefore, various incentives should be given, and information sharing should be expanded by establishing a defense S&T information provision platform."


Dr. Youngsoo Ahn pointed out, "While US defense R&D challenges uncertainties with a clear mission, Korea's defense R&D expects accurately verified results." "In order for defense R&D to contribute to strengthening national competitiveness, it is necessary to reinforce the capabilities of the control tower of the technology and develop challenging future technologies," he added.


Dr. Ji-Ho Hwang said, "Future technology development was introduced in 2019 by benchmarking the DARPA model, and is being promoted based on the Act on National Defense Science and Technology Innovation Promotion, which has been in effect since 2021. As part of the phased evaluation of the selected tasks is in progress from the beginning of this year, it is time to closely inspect whether the existing program philosophy is maintained, whether planning and management are based on the responsibilities of the PM, and whether an appropriate research environment is provided."

 

President Byung-Seon Jeong highlighted the linkage of strategic technology between the civil and military, securing the level of practical use of the dual use technology, systematic PM system such as DARPA, and strengthening innovative and challenging R&D philosophy when national and economic security are considered important.


In the following discussion, participants shared their opinions on the understanding and improvement tasks of the dual use technology and strategies for promoting convergence innovation and innovation challenges for the technology.

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