Korea, U.K. expand ties in advanced bio sector

2023.11.24 12:27:01 | 2023.11.24 15:33:21

[Courtesy of The Ministry of Science and ICT]이미지 확대

[Courtesy of The Ministry of Science and ICT]



South Korea and the United Kingdom are expanding their collaboration in the field of advanced bioscience, including the establishment of a joint research center in synthetic biology.

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced Thursday that it signed a memorandum of understanding with U.K. research institutions at Imperial College London’s White City Campus to promote cooperation in advanced bioscience fields including synthetic biology, brain research, and artificial intelligence (AI)-based novel drug development.

Signatories to the agreement, which was signed during Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol’s state visit to the U.K., include the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology, Imperial College London, and SynbiCITE, a U.K. synthetic biology industry accelerator.

The institutions will develop joint research centers at both Imperial College London and KAIST, where they will develop key technologies in the fields of synthetic biology and bio foundry, as well as promote collaborative research and personnel exchanges to nurture the synthetic biology-based advanced bio industry.

The institutions aim to establish these research centers in 202, and plan to develop the center into a hub for bilateral collaborative research in synthetic biology by dispatching research personnel.

Synthetic biology is a field that introduces engineering concepts into life science, mainly focusing on academic research and technological development related to the design, production, and synthesis of the components or systems of artificially created organisms.

With the ink dry on the latest MoU, KAIST plans to closely collaborate with London Biofoundry under Imperial College London.

The Korea Research Institute of Bioscience & Biotechnology plans to collaborate with the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge in the field of biomedicine, including gene and cell therapy and bio-big data.

“We will expand government support to ensure that specific technological cooperation and personnel exchanges between the two countries can take place,” Science and ICT Minister Lee Jong-ho said.

By Ko Jae-won and Lee Eun-joo

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