On October 4, KAIST and Seongnam city in Gyeonggi Province reached an agreement to further their efforts to nurture AI researchers in the city. The deal furthers AI-focused collaboration between KAIST and Seongnam.
The deal consists of the establishment of an “AI Graduate School Seongnam Research Center” in the city. Two professors and 34 graduate students from the recently launched KAIST AI Graduate School will continue their high-end AI research and industry support. In return, Seongnam agreed to rent the research-friendly space for free and invigorate cooperation between KAIST and AI Startups in the city through various internship opportunities and AI forums. The number of KAIST graduates involved will gradually increase until the construction of the “Seongnam Global ICT Convergence Planet” is completed in Pangyo-2-Techno-Valley, where the research center is likely to be transferred.
The joint effort kicked off when the municipal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KAIST in August 2017.
The MOU aimed to make Seongnam a “Leading City in 4th Industrial Revolution”. As a result, AI-focused forums that encompass core tech transfer and education to startup researchers have been held regularly for the past two years. KAIST increasingly became a key provider of the innovations to help the city become tech-friendly, and all these successful cooperation efforts led to a fruitful mutual agreement this month.
The two parties expect a boost in an academic-industrial cooperation through a physical proximity of the new institute and AI startups in the area. “We expect this deal will help reignite our goal towards making Seongnam a center of Asian Silicon Valley”, commented a city official during the agreement ceremony.
Earlier last month, the city made another agreement with The Vault Korea, a global accelerator that acts as a platform for Korean startups aiming for business expansion into the US. Coupled with the new KAIST-Seongnam deal, the city is hopeful to make an “Asian Silicon Valley” a reality.