KOICA promotes global sustainable development through science & technology program



- KOICA implemented 63.5 billion won (approximately $51 million) in science and technology innovation projects in 2021 to contribute to innovation in developing countries 

April 21 marks Science Day in Korea, which signifies support for the development of science and technology, while the United Nations has designated 2022 as the Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development.

In celebration of Science Day, KOICA shed light on various science and technology related projects it has carried out in developing countries with the aim of solving economic and social problems, the development cooperation agency announced Thursday.

KOICA’s projects are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets, which emphasize innovation in science and technology including strengthening research capabilities and supporting policies that encourage technological development and startups.

KOICA is striving for the advancement of science and technology in developing countries by supporting related policy making, offering consulting services, training research personnel, and supporting tech-based startups and employment through projects that totaled 63.5 billion (approximately $51 million) won in 2021.

Advancing innovative research in Vietnam

A representative project is the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science & Technology (VKIST), which was built in Hanoi with the goal of enhancing research achievements in the science and technology fields and is contributing to the advancement of local research capacities. This project began in 2014 following the request of the Vietnamese government to benchmark the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), a successful case of Korea’s development experience.

Now having grown into Vietnam’s sole state-of-the-art research facility and a research institute for innovative science and technology, VKIST gained an evaluation as an excellent organization in 2021, while VKIST’s chief received a commendation from Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

As of 2021, the institute holds some 179 types of advanced research equipment. 36 researchers are working in the fields of green technology, digital transformation, and the fourth industrial revolution with the aim of preparing for the post-pandemic era. Their work includes electric vehicle motor development, bird flu diagnostic sensor development, face recognition technology, and a patented study related to the production of skin whitening compositions.

*The project for the establishment of the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (2014-2022/$35 million)

Supporting university students studying science in Mongolia

In Mongolia, KOICA has implemented a $6 million project since 2019 to support the dreams of talented students studying science at the university level by establishing mid- to long-term development and operation plans for the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, and improving the curriculum of 20 related departments. In order to enhance research results and quality of education, KOICA has also provided training for professors and remodeling for research labs.

*Capacity Building Project for School of Information and Communication Technology at Mongolian University of Science and Technology in Mongolia (2019-2022/$6 million)


Encouraging math and science education for girls in Ghana

In Ghana, KOICA has strived to spark teenagers’ interest in math and science subjects at school by holding math and science vacation camps and after school programs for girls. Campaigns were also held to raise community awareness in order to facilitate girls’ attendance at school and pursuit of studies. Systematically, KOICA aims to support the training of female talent in the field of science and engineering in Ghana by enhancing the gender sensitivity of teachers and education officials.

*Promotion of Girls Competency in Math and Science with Gender-responsive Pedagogy (2020-2024/$8 million)

Researchers are carrying out research at the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science & Technology (VKIST), established by KOICA to support the development of science and technology in Vietnam.