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close this bookTechnological Independence The Asian experience (UNU, 1994, 372 pages)
close this folder3. The Republic of Korea
View the documentPreamble
View the documentHistory
View the documentDevelopment policies and strategies from the 1960s to the 1980s
View the documentThe plans
View the documentImpact on the agricultural and industrial sectors
View the documentScience and technology in korea before the 1960s
View the documentThe role of science and technology in recent development
View the documentScience and technology and the exogenous environment
View the documentEducation and training
View the documentResearch and development
View the documentReassessment of the policy and strategy
View the documentAchievements in industrial development
View the documentThe electronics industry as a case-study
View the documentSelf-reliance targets at each stage
View the documentProblems and issues
View the documentFuture plan for self-reliance of science and technology
View the documentThe long-term goals and strategy of national development
View the documentRole of science and technology for future development
View the documentLong-term goal of S&T development
View the documentSumming-up and regional cooperation
View the documentRegional cooperation
View the documentBibliography

Role of science and technology for future development

The role of science and technology in a future Korean society may be broadly stated as one of meeting felt needs by technological innovation and scientific advancement and of realizing long-term national goals for the next century. These goals fall under the following six headings:

To ensure national security and social stability

For a resource-poor country like the Republic of Korea, conserving energy and oil-substitutable energy is vital. Food technology is similarly important to maintain social stability. Science and technology are expected to play a vitally important role in ensuring national security and social stability.

To sustain the growth of the national economy and to improve its efficiency

In the past, technological progress made only a minor contribution to the growth of national income, and this should be changed. Furthermore, the technological gap with developed countries should be reduced in certain strategically selected areas. At the same time, technology intensification should be undertaken in small and medium-scale enterprises, which take approximately 97.5 per cent of the total, but contribute only 36 per cent to the Korean economy in terms of value added production.

To prepare for a smooth transition to an information society

Societal change to an information society will demand the development of information-related industries centred around micro-electronics, communications, computers, etc. Moreover, reducing the labour component of production systems through automation technology will require re-education of displaced labour.

To improve the quality of life

Technology in areas of public health such as disease control, medicine and medical electronics needs to be developed. Another area is the protection of the environment for better dwelling conditions on the one hand, and for increased productivity of the land on the other.

Development of information technology directly related to daily living, it should be noted, will increase social benefits, and this in turn will help reduce urbanization. The preference for urban living will disappear with the development of an information system on a nationwide scale.

To create a new culture suitable for the new society

A conflict between traditional cultural values and progressive contemporary values has existed in Korean society during the recent process of industrialization. A national consensus should be created for the development of science and technology. Another far-reaching goal of science and technology is the creation of a new culture for the next century.