Dr. Govert Gijsbers
- innovation policy and strategy
- evaluation and impact assessment
TNO was requested to assist DGIST in developing its Master Plan, in collaboration with the Science and Technology Policy Institute of Korea and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Issues in this research were balancing science- and technology-driven approaches with the short-term demands of industry, balancing national and regional priorities as well as industry and societal needs, and positioning DGIST in relation to other innovation actors.
At the initiative of South Korea's central government and local government of Gyonbuk province, a new research institute was established in Daegu city in 2004 to serve the south-eastern regions of the country. These regions represent the country's industrial heartland and account for more than 75% of its industrial production. Until the establishment of DGIST, most scientific and industrial research was carried out in Seoul. A key consideration in the establishment of the new institute was strengthening relations between research and industry, with a view to stimulating Korean industrial and technological competitiveness in the face of growing competition from China and elsewhere. DGIST would be set up as a research and technology organisation (RTO), with a capacity to translate knowledge and innovations into technologies that can be applied to industry as well as society at large.
Global trends in industrial research and technological innovation were presented as a basis for assessing potential opportunities and directions for DGIST. Among the most pervasive of these trends are the growing complexity and internationalisation of research, the declining role of government in setting the research agenda, and increased emphasis on partnerships and networks. In this context, research organisations are compelled to focus on certain areas and achieve global excellence, engage in effective partnerships with other players (industry, government, academia), interact with the public, and be able to cover the entire knowledge chain. Eight leading research and technology organisations from Europe and Australia were benchmarked with the objective of drawing lessons for DGIST. For a wider spectrum of insights, organisations were chosen that vary considerably in terms of size, budget, mandate, orientation, etc.
Feasibility and impact studies were carried out to assess the potential benefits and impact of investing in a new research institute geared towards high-tech industry, both for the city of Daegu and the surrounding regions. Different scenarios were developed to estimate the outcome of this investment in terms of production, employment, and other economic and social variables. Priority research areas were defined for DGIST based on an initial identification of key industrial sectors and technologies for the region, as well as information on current and emerging innovation trends and related themes collected from TNO's Dynamo Database. A set of criteria were used to prioritise these research areas based on their contribution to research, industry, the market, and government policy. Based on the insights obtained earlier in the project and a review of best practices from a number of leading science and technology institutes worldwide, the research team proposed a management plan for DGIST.