November 2006 – April 2008
The conclusion that can be drawn from the pilot campaign for South Korea, which ran between November 2006 and mid-2008, is impressive: More than half of the German institutions and organisations involved have run at least one R&D project with Korean partners. More than 70 percent of actors signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MoU). More than 80 percent were able to gain new partners in Korea. These figures impressively substantiate the success of the BMBF initiative.
The official kick-off took place at a grand opening in Seoul on 1 November 2006. In addition to the major research organisations, the most important competence networks and excellence centres were also represented. Their joint objective: Intensifying research and development cooperation between research institutions and companies in the two countries - enabling a bilateral exchange of knowledge and experience and strengthening the two research locations in a balanced way.
For this purpose, the partners conclude numerous concrete agreements using memoranda. Agreements were also made regarding the exchange of scientists and students as were contracts for the joint use of research institutions. The partners also agreed the mutual recognition of academic degrees. The aim is also to enable a more intense cooperation with the European Union using Germany as the “gateway to Europe” - the first projects are already being planned.
These successes are no least thanks to the BMBF’s supporting measures. Both the Korean and the German side unanimously praised the BMBF as an indispensable “door opener”. Aside from workshops in the preparatory phase, this primarily included effective exploratory trips and delegations. Support on site was also important, such as when organising meetings or accompanying events: In Korea, a targeted approach of potential partners is expected as an irrefutable condition of a long-term partnership. This was made possible with the help of the BMBF and had the hoped-for effect.
For an overview of funded projects download the campaign brochure.