Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More on the mega-ministry (미래창조과학부)

As promised, this post contains some additional details on the new mega-ministry which is being called the Ministry of Future Planning and Science in many English papers (미래부 or "Future Ministry" is the shorthand reference being used in the Korean press). The following details come from an article in yesterday's Joongang Daily (Korean language) and another that appeared in The Korea Times today.

  • The new Ministry will be very large, and is referred to as "mammoth," with more than 800 staff members at the start, about 300 of whom will be transferred from the Korea Communications Commission and another 250 from the current Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
  • The "Future Ministry" will have two Vice-Ministers.  One will oversee future planning research and science and technology policy.  The second will be in charge of broadcasting-telecommunications convergence, frequency allocation strategies, telecommunications policy and  broadcasting promotion strategy. 
  • It will have responsibility for the allocation of approximately 17 trillion Korean (over 15 billion U.S. dollars) won in national research and development funding.  This was formerly controlled by the Presidential National Science and Technology Council which is being abolished.
  • It is envisioned as a giant engine to foster the creative economy promised by President Park Geun-hye by fostering contents--platforms--networks--devices (CPNT) and promoting the ICT industry. Notably, it brings the ICT policy responsibilities that had been scattered among several ministries back into one place, with the exception of telecommunications regulation by the KCC.
  • Key responsibilities that were formerly under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism are being transferred to the Future Ministry.  These include promoting the circulation of high quality, authentic digital contents, core technology development, database industry development, growth projects for SMEs and the digital contents platforms business.

As noted in The Korea Times, "In her inaugural address on Feb. 25, Park defined a creative economy as the convergence of science and technology with industry, a fusion of culture with industry and the blossoming of creativity across industry sector borders."

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