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SNU to launch think tank on national strategy

Seoul National University will launch a think tank in May to work out a long-term strategy for the nation’s research and development sector, the school said Tuesday.

Starting with the organization of its members, the tentatively named “Future R&D Committee” plans to hold the first meeting next month.

The nation’s R&D policy has thus far been planned by government offices or research institutes affiliated with them. Their studies have therefore been directly or indirectly affected by the incumbent administration’s political tendencies and could not cover a longer-term strategy than the president’s five-year tenure.

The committee of the nation’s prestigious university will meet twice a month on different agendas and the results will be published as an annual white paper proposing the direction of the nation’s R&D policy.

Unlike the previous state-run institutions that have focused only on the science and technology sector, the new think tank will include wide-ranging studies including humanities and social sciences.

“So far, there has been no institution that figures out a national R&D strategy systemically except for those affiliated with the government,” said Shin Hee-young, chief of school’s research office.

“The think tank will study and draft a R&D development strategy at the national level, not at the school level.”

As part of the plan, SNU recently strengthened support for researchers on its campus, with a new team installed to help their research activities and to better protect their intellectual property rights.

By Lee Ji-yoon (