New Member Spotlight: Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
August 20, 2018

APRU Welcomes Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Hong Kong, July 18, 2018 — We are delighted to announce that the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has joined the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU).

We welcome KAIST President Dr. Sung-Chul Shin and his colleagues to our association and look forward to a valuable and productive partnership.

KAIST joining APRU was followed by APRU Secretary General Christopher Tremewan visiting KAIST in January.

“We are proud that KAIST, one of the most innovative universities in the world, is seeking ways to spread its know-how for innovation to APRU member universities,” said Tremewan when discussing KAIST’s APRU membership with Shin.

Since KAIST’s founding in 1971 it has been playing a vital role in South Korea’s stunning transformation from an agriculture-based economy into a technological and industrial powerhouse whose advanced products are in high demand all over the world.

Approximately one in five KAIST PhDs hold leadership roles in South Korean industry and academia, with a further one in five serving as the CEOs of start-up ventures.

In the Korean semiconductor industry one in every four PhDs is a KAIST alumnus, and KAIST graduates currently hold chairman-level offices at both Samsung and LG.

In Reuters’ 2018 Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative University ranking, KAIST earned the top spotfor the third consecutive year as a reflection of Reuters’ acknowledgment that “KAIST researchers submit more patents than any other university on the list, and those patents are frequently cited by outside researchers in their own patents and papers.”

Recent KAIST research highlights include the development of a highly durable platinum-based fuel cell catalyst that removes particulate matter from the air while it is in operation, an innovation that could lead to more efficient electric vehicles that reduce pollution when driven.

In 2015, the university’s humanoid robot known as DRC-HUBO defied the odds to win the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) in Pomona, California, beating out the likes of NASA and MIT.

The challenge, a US military initiative aimed to spur international innovation in robotics-led disaster response operations, called for teams of semi-autonomous robots and human operators to complete a series of disaster-response tasks such as driving a vehicle alone, getting out, climbing stairs, turning a valve, and navigating a debris field.

Reflecting KAIST’s strong commitment to globalization, it currently has 442 collaborative agreements with 260 world-renowned universities in 59 countries and bilateral student exchange programs with 97 international partner universities.

Tremewan’s visit to KAIST was followed by a visit by APRU Director (Policy & Programs) Christina Schönleber in May. The visit involved discussions on synergies and links with the APRU Digital Economy program, the APRU Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership program, the APRU Multi-Hazards program, and the APRU Sustainable Cities and Landscape program.

In March, KAIST participated in APRU Provosts’ Forum 2018 in Hong Kong, themed “the Future of University”, where KAIST Provost and Executive Vice President O Ok Park presented on “Provosts’ role in 2050.”

We also like to thank KAIST for its presence at the welcome reception for new members at the 22nd Annual Presidents’ Meeting in Taipei in June.

APRU also welcomes Prof. Jay-Hyung Lee, Associate Vice President; Jungil Lee, Head, International Relations Team; and Dong Kyeong (DK) Lee Coordinator, International Relations Team, we look forward to a fruitful partnerhsip.