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Ministry begins new project for energy experts

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy said Sunday that it will inject 13.6 billion won ($12.5 million) into securing human resources pool for energy-related fields.

Under the program, the ministry said it will support higher education institutions to train energy professionals, and help their research efforts.

Overall, the ministry estimates that the projects will produce 3,600 energy professionals on an annual basis.

Projects launched under the new initiative include GET-Future, short for green energy technology. Under the project, university laboratories researching chemical battery and marine wind power generation technologies will be selected for government support. In the first one-year stage, labs will be given up to 200 million won, and up to 500 million won research funds. Those making it into the third and fourth stages will be given up to 1 billion won support, the ministry said.

The ministry also plans to expand its “track” system for developing energy specialists.

Introduced last year, the ministry’s track system enables companies and academic institutions to collaborate in educating students according to the needs of the industry without establishing new departments.

Under the plans released Sunday, the ministry will provide support for 20 or so new projects including those for training undergraduate-level energy specialists and that aimed at reinforcing the country’s energy research personnel trained to higher levels of education.

The new program also includes a project supporting foreigners to receive training or degrees in related fields from local institutions to aid Korean firms’ export efforts and to establish a global network, the ministry said.

The ministry will also provide scholarships to overseas academic institutions to help Koreans receive masters or doctorate degrees in electric, nuclear and renewable energy fields.

The project will provide up to 30 million won to each student for a maximum of two years.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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