Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies (KOFST) said on Thursday that the top science and technology news of 2019 is Korea’s countermeasures, such as reinforcement of research and development (R&D), and Japan’s export curbs.
The KOFST, during a press conference in Seoul, announced the top ten news stories in the science and technology area. The federation selected 30 news stories that garnered the most attention in 2019 and ran them through online votes by members of the public, scientists, and reporters.
The development of artificial intelligence (AI) in South Korea ranked second on the list of top ten news stories. Also, in the science and technology sectors, regulations on the development of new medicines and the launch of the hydrogen economy period stood third and fourth, respectively.
The Japanese government on July 1 imposed strict regulations on the export of three advanced resource materials to Korea used in the display and semiconductor sectors. The regulation came amidst the two nations’ struggle over the compensation claims by living South Korean victims who suffered in the wartime forced labor.
In August, Tokyo also removed Seoul from its list of trusted trading partners.
The Ministry of Science and ICT answered with doubling the allocated budget for 2020 for R&D in the material, parts, and equipment sectors, and also to begin numerous projects to secure source technologies.
KOFST President Kim Myung-ja said, during the press conference,
“Money is not everything. Fundamental change is necessary for the science and technology ecosystem to enable all processes, from the development of ideas to market entry, to be connected smoothly.”
Yearly, the organization picks the top ten news stories in the science and technology sectors to raise public knowledge and awareness.
Also included in the list is a worldwide project including eight radio observatories that studied a black hole and the first commercialization internationally of fifth-generation (5G) technology. Around 200 international scientists involving eight Koreans contributed to the project.
A study by the Institute for Basic Science that discovered the cause of brain diseases and a study by the Seoul National University that raised the possibility that Alzheimer’s could be cured was some of the news entering the list.
The advancement of the foldable display and rollable OLED TV also appeared on the list.