Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Samsung's Big Biotechnology Push in Songdo

Yesterday, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the third large production facility at Samsung Biologics.   It was a grant event, with over 500 guests invited, including President Park Geun-hye and a number of Ministers.  Although it was the first time I had been inside the Samsung Biologics complex, I felt a certain familiarity since I can see the facilities, less than a mile away, from the window of my apartment at SUNY Korea on the Incheon Global Campus. My view is only a bit more distant than the photograph included below (click for a full-size version).
As reported widely in the press, including The Wall Street Journal,  the third production plant for which groundbreaking was held yesterday will be the world's single largest biologic drug plant (measured by production capacity) when completed in 2018.  As shown in the accompanying graphic (click for a larger version), Samsung intends to become the world's largest contract biologic drug maker by 2020.  
What I found most interesting about President Park Geun-hye's speech was how she noted the convergence of IT with biotechnologies and how this relates to her signature creative economy initiative.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Progress on the world's first public safety LTE network

Less than a month ago, KT demonstrated new technologies and devices designed to manage natural disasters and other emergencies at Alpensia Resort in Pyeongchang County, Gangwon.  Pyeongchang is the site of the forthcoming 2018 Winter Olympics and also the location of the first phase pilot project for Korea's Public Safety LTE network (PS-LTE).  As reported by The Korea Joongang Daily and illustrated in the accompanying photographs (click to see a full size version) "Among the displays were different drones capable of bringing LTE coverage to remote areas or locating missing people, as well as a portable LTE network base station built into a backpack." Although the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and other countries are also pursuing LTE networks for use by first responders and public safety organizations, it is highly likely that Korea will be the first country in the world to have an operational nationwide network.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The story behind Telecommunications and Transformation in Korea

Yesterday a blogger in Taiwan published a post that was based on his afternoon "tea reading" of my short Kindle book, Telecommunications and Transformation in Korea:  A Personal Perspective.  The accompanying graphic is a screenshot of that blog post (click to see a larger version of the screen capture).  Although I do not read Chinese, I ran it through a translation program and was pleased to see that the book I wrote five years ago, had not only attracted interest, but stimulated thought and questions by someone in Taiwan.
In the Winter of 2010 I found myself, somewhat unexpectedly, with time on my hands.   I had just left my position as Associate Director of the Fulbright Commission earlier in the Fall and was not yet certain about my next move.  Consequently, my wife and I moved from Seoul to the small house we'd built in Dunnae, a rural town right in the vicinity of the forthcoming 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
As the author of this Kindle book, I have the ability to make it available free of charge for five days every quarter.   I've just done that, so if you check this link at Amazon.com, you can download it free of charge from December 10-12.  This is also for the benefit of students in the course I've taught this semester, EST 194 Patterns of Problem Solving.   Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Korean peninsula today: ICT leader and Digital Divide

The ITU has released its annual Measuring the Information Society report and, not surprisingly, South Korea ranks number one in the world on the ICT development index (IDI).  As noted here in earlier posts, the IDI debuted in 2009 as a successor to the ITU's earlier digital access and digital opportunity indices.
The map published by the ITU to show the global distribution of the new IDI clearly highlights the southern half of the Korean peninsula.   At the same time, while no data are reported for North Korea, the map vividly depicts the world's deepest, most tragic and poignant digital divide--that between South and North Korea.  If data were available for North Korea, they would undoubtedly show that it ranks near the bottom of all nations in the world on the IDI, owing to both lack of infrastructure and efforts by the government to control and limit the flow of information within, into and out of the country.