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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST Backs New Future for Marine and Polar Fields

  • HITS : 6654
  • Date : 2012-07-18

KIOST Backs New Future forMarine and Polar Fields


 - Contributed tostrengthening national competitiveness through strategic R&D, 
includingdevelopment of marine resources, research on Antarctic and Arctic, and supportfor marine industry.



□ On July 4, 2012, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (Minister: Do Youp Kwon) and the Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology (KIOST) (President: Jung Keuk Kang, referred to as “KIOST” hereinafter) held a ceremony to celebrate the establishment of KIOST and to explain its vision and the implementation plans for national R&D projects to strengthen national competitiveness in the marine and polar fields.

※ KIOST: Republic of Korea Institute of Ocean Science &Technology


○    KIOST and the Republic of Korea Polar Research Institute (President: Hong Kum Lee) each share the vision of becoming global leaders in marine technology and leading institutions in polar research. Together, they plan to achieve global competitiveness in marine technology, develop outstanding research centers, and implement R&D focusing on large scale programs for the oceans and polar seas.


○     In addition to increasing operational support for KIOST, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs will expand new marine businesses, including marine plants and marine energy, by investing about KRW 3.6 trillion into developing marine and polar technology until 2020, based on the Marine Technology Road Map (MTRM) established in December of 2011. It also plans to conduct R&D for the Antarctic and Arctic at the same time, which is expected to greatly contribute to strengthening national competitiveness in the marine and polar fields.


□ The major points of KIOST’s R&D implementation plan are as follows: First, KIOST plans to actively support the development of new marine businesses. In order to promote new growth engines for the ocean, it will concentrate on R&D covering the basics of supporting new marine business, including the development of marine resources & energy and marine plants, as well as application, practical use and industrialization.


○    In particular, KIOST plans to further expand its R&D in industrial marine plants, which is seen as a “blue ocean” field that will eventually replace the shipbuilding industry. Until now, the development of industrial marine plants has only focused on developing and exploring certain marine resources, such as oil and gas.


○     However, it is expected that there will be an increasing demand for industrial marine plants in a variety of areas in the future, including the development of marine and seawater-dissolved resources from deep sea floors, such as in the manganese nodule; the development of marine energy; the development of LNG bunkering; the use of marine space; and the development of oceanographic observations. This will also bring a huge ripple effect to other marine-related industries, such as machinery and shipbuilding. Therefore, it is an industry that needs to be fostered intensely by the Korean government.


○     As of July 1, 2012, KIOST has built a Close Support System for new marine businesses by establishing the Center for Promoting Utilization of R&D Results, as well as the Offshore Plant Industry Support Center and the Industry Policy and Cooperation Section under the Ship Engineering & Ocean Plant Research Institute. Through this, the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs plans to actively foster new marine businesses, including industrial marine plants, by acquiring additional infrastructure and pursuing and implementing strategic R&D projects.



□ Second, KIOST plans to continue research to identify the causes of climate change, which is of great global interest, and to provide countermeasures for it. In particular, KIOST plans to reduce the damage caused by climatic change by establishing the ‘Korean prediction system for global change,’ which will predict climate change over long periods of time.


○     KIOST will also continue to develop technology for carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) to substantially reduce CO2 emissions by storing the carbon dioxide collected from large emission sources, such as plants or steel mills, in marine deposits. This technology will allow Republic of Korea to reduce 10% of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.


□ Third, KIOST plans to achieve the goal of becoming a Polar G-7 member in polar research and to become a leader in the international community by expanding and operating the infrastructure for polar activities in the Antarctic and Arctic, including the construction of Jangbogo Antarctic Research Station.


○     The Jangbogo Antarctic Research Station is expected to be completed by June 2014 to provide a clear bridge-head for Antarctic research. KIOST plans to increase research results in a variety of fields, including research on Antarctic climate change, research based on continents, and research on polar convergence, by improving the environment for infrastructure in connection with the existing Republic of Korea Antarctic Research Program of King Sejong Station and the Korean icebreaking research vessel, Araon.


○     In particular, Arctic research has lagged behind Antarctic research despite the region’s high potential value, but KIOST will now strengthen its activities in the Arctic, including the recent development of an Arctic sea route and abundant resource reserves.


- Due to global warming, glaciers in the Arctic have continued to decrease. An Arctic sea route is predicted to be available all year round by 2030~2040, which is why more support should be focused on its development. Such an Arctic sea route would greatly reduce transport time and distances, and is expected to take on 10~30% of the container traffic between Asia and Europe.

* In the case of using the Arctic sea route between Busan and Rotterdam, the transport distance and time would be decreased by 7,400 km (20,100→12,700km) and 10 days (30→20 days), respectively, compared to the existing route passing through the Suez Canal.


- It is predicted that 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas is buried in the Arctic Ocean, which would provide the basis for a new growth engine in marine resource development and marine plant industries in the future. The basic information acquired by the Republic of Korea Polar Research Institute through research and investigation will be very useful for resource development.


* Reserves that include 90 billion barrels of oil (Republic of Korea’s imported oil per year is 800~900 million barrels), 1669 trillion m3 of natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of LNG.

- Also, due to the decrease of ice-mass area in the Arctic Ocean, the Arctic Oscillation has weakened to frequently cause cold waves and heavy snow during winter on the Korean Peninsula. KIOST will conduct research to identify the cause and establish a comprehensive national climate monitoring network to prevent disasters, while also providing information to develop related industries.


○     Besides these polar research activities, KIOST will strengthen the open operation system for acquired data and specimens. Also, the Republic of Korea Polar Data Center (KPDC) and the Polar Specimen Curation Center are being established to allow researchers proper access to specimens of polar biology through joint use and allotment to industry, academy and research institutes without having to go to the poles.



□ Finally, KIOST plans to increase its research infrastructure for marine research and deep seawater exploration. By 2015, it will complete the construction of advanced 5,000-ton marine research vessels. It will also implement activities for ocean research and marine resource exploration by developing a pathfinder for exploring the deep sea (up to 6,000m).



□ According to their own analysis, the total economic effect resulting from the establishment of KIOST will total KRW 3 trillion 808.1 billion by 2020. In terms of developing basic marine technology, it is expected to have a development effect totaling KRW 1 trillion 177.3 billion, while the production inducement effect and the value-added inducement effect through research on application and industrial technologies are expected to exceed KRW 2 trillion 22.7 billion and KRW 545.1 billion, respectively. A further benefit of KRW 63 billion is expected to be achieved by developing a total of 1,760 research staff.


○     An official at the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said, “National competitiveness will be further strengthened and new growth engines established for the future through the establishment of KIOST, with its goal of developing marine resources and vitalizing the marine industry, including research on the Antarctic & Arctic and marine plants.”


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Last Update : 2020-03-07