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Value to Korean Society

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The Stanford Center at the Incheon Global Campus is dedicated to creating positive, immediate impacts and value to Korean society and the Korean economy.  Stanford University is widely recognized as one of the fundamental driving forces behind the phenomenon of Silicon Valley.  SCIGC brings this experience in “ecosystem-building” to Songdo, and Korea more broadly, with potential projects and positive impacts that accelerate research and scholarship, promote innovation, and build pan-Pacific partnerships.   SCIGC is committed to delivering this value in a number of ways that are unique to Stanford University.

SCIGC Director, Professor Michael Lepech, meeting at Yonsei University with former Yonsei University President, Professor Yong-hak Kim (left), former Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova, and former Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon

Global Excellence in Interdisciplinary Research
The ability of the Stanford faculty and researchers to coalesce around, and solve, complex interdisciplinary challenges is our competitive advantage when compared to our peers, who often adopt traditional discipline-centric approaches.  This ability has been demonstrated successfully through the creation of the Precourt Institute for Energy, the Woods Institute for the Environment, the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, the Hoover Institution, and numerous other cross-cutting research institutes on campus.  SCIGC brings this interdisciplinary research structure to Korea, with the goal of encouraging other Korean universities to engage and collaborate via similar efforts.

Stanford’s Entrepreneurial Approach to Research
An entrepreneurial approach to research, which looks across disciplines to understand innovation, adoption, use, and broader impacts of new ideas, like smart cities, was pioneered at Stanford by Professor Frederick Terman, the father of Silicon Valley.  This approach remains a hallmark of Stanford’s problem-focused research approach.  SCIGC brings this research approach to Korea through collaboration and co-creation with local institutions, businesses, and public entities.

Contributing to Korean GDP and Employment
The research findings, discoveries, publications, and innovations emanating from SCIGC are expected to identify new business opportunities for aspiring Korean entrepreneurs and innovative multi-national firms.  These new business opportunities contribute to national GDP and employment, while also further elevating the global profile of the Korean entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.

Delivering on Korea’s Commitment to the Smart City National Pilot Project
In 2017, President Moon proposed to promote the smart city development project as a national pilot project.   Specifically, President Moon stated that, “In addition to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the Ministry of Science and ICT, the Ministry of Public Administration and Security, the Fourth Industrial Revolution Committee and other related ministries and committees must collect their talents together.  It is worth focusing our national resources to create next phase of smart cities given the top-notch ICT we have [in Korea].”  By initially engaging in topics of smart city technology implementation, sustainable smart urban systems and wellness, innovative entrepreneurship methods and business models, and sustainable development and global economic competitiveness, SCIGC will have immediate impact on making the national commitment to smart city development a successful reality.

Opening New Markets and Increasing Global Competitiveness
Since its creation, the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy has been active in opening new markets and opportunities for energy efficient technologies and business models (i.e., Solar City) through a better understanding of the economic, social, political, and legal barriers to their adoption.  SCIGC looks to unlock similarly large new markets and opportunities for Korean technologies and entrepreneurial business models through better understanding of customer motivations, broadly defined solutions, organizational structures, financial constructs, and globally emerging trends.  The findings and products of SCIGC are expected to increase the demand and competitiveness of Korean technology offerings and businesses around the world.

Increasing Operational Efficiency and Reducing Costs of Korean Smart Cities
Initially engaging in topics of smart city technology implementation, sustainable smart urban systems and wellness, innovative entrepreneurship methods and business models, and sustainable development and global economic competitiveness, the research conducted at SCIGC is expected to focus the identification and implementation of smart city technologies within both new smart cities (i.e., Songdo) and historical urban centers that are modernizing (i.e., Seoul).  By focusing the implementation of smart city paradigms, the cost of research, development, deployment, and maintenance of smart city solutions is expected to drop significantly – saving billions of won in annual municipal operational budgets.

Collaborating and Co-creating with Korean Partners
Korea is home to some of the world’s most prestigious universities, with world-renowned faculty across all disciplines.  Korean universities educate some of the world’s top STEM graduates with deep knowledge in artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous industry, and connected fields.  Similar to faculty efforts at the Stanford campus, SCIGC research repositions this world-class talent within a uniquely “Stanford framework” to understand the broader social, environmental, and economic considerations associated with all new ideas and radical innovations.

Enabling Smart City Urbanization Around the Globe
A majority of the largest 600 cities around the world have expressed intent to implement smart city technologies and strategies in the coming decades.  The research findings and overarching smart city adoption framework initially developed at SCIGC are expected to enable smart city urbanization in these top 600 cities around the world, creating significant economic and social impact far beyond Korea.  This will also raise the global profile of the Korean smart city innovation ecosystem.

Linking Stanford, Silicon Valley, and South Korea
SCIGC will be a major research, scholarship, and partnership engagement hub in South Korea that connects Stanford University, and Silicon Valley, to the South Korean economy and the rest of Asia.  Initial collaborations are expected to have immediate benefits to the South Korean economy as an innovative financial hub, entrepreneurship hub, and smart city hub.  Beyond these initial benefits, SCIGC will immediately provide a natural link between the South Korean economy and Silicon Valley, including famous Silicon Valley firms such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Cisco, NVidia, Sequoia Capital, and many others.

Stanford Provost Persis Drell meeting with Stanford alumni and friends as Dean of Engineering in 2016 in Seoul.  (Photo courtesy of Stanford+Connects Seoul)