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Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology

KIOST Project Selected as a 2018 National Research and Development Program in Excellence, KIOST Selected as an Outstanding Institution

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  • Date : 2018-10-18

The Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST, President Kim Woong-seo) announced that, on October 10, the research project of senior researcher Hong Sang-hee and his team was selected and announced as a “2018 National Research and Development Program in Excellence” by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Since 2015, KIOST has been carrying out a project on the “establishment of microplastic pollution and impact assessment technology and investigation of the current status of pollution,” with the support of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The objective of this project is to identify the environmental risks that microplastics pose in Korea’s marine environment. The researchers working on this project were able to create the most precise and systematic contamination map based on collected samples of seawater, sediments, and organisms using cutting-edge technology that has been recognized around the world.

Based on the negative impact of pollution that was identified by this research project, the Korean government has established a policy direction for regulating the use of polystyrene foam buoys and taken the first step of revising the “enforcement policy to support the supply of environmentally friendly buoys.” As a result, this study was praised as a model project that shows how scientific results can lead to meaningful policy changes.


“While conducting our marine science research study, we encountered plastic garbage in the ocean, which posed a serious problem,” explained Dr. Hong Sang-hee. “We started this project to find scientific proof of the current status of marine pollution in Korea waters, and our work is now leading the field worldwide. Going forward, we pledge to do our best to help protect Korea’s marine environment and marine ecosystem from plastic pollution.”


In addition, KIOST has established a spinoff company to commercialize a technology for lengthening harbor structures using open-cell caissons, leading to its selection as an “Outstanding Institution For Technology Licensing, Commercialization, and Startups” in 2018.
The current caisson engineering method was designed in consideration of the maximum force acting on a caisson, because each caisson was designed independently rather than in an integrated manner. However, the technology developed by senior researcher Park Woo-sun’s research team can improve structural stability and reduce production costs. Moreover, the fact that this technology has the potential to protect national infrastructure from coastal hazards was highly praised.
* Caisson: a box-shaped concrete structure used for such structures as the foundations of bridges, seawalls, and piers. The inside of caissons are filled with dirt or riprap.


In the future, KIOST plans to continue establishing other spinoff companies and create a startup ecosystem dedicated to the ocean and fisheries with the aim of actively contributing to the creation of added social value, such as new jobs and programs



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Last Update : 2020-03-07