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NO.398 05.15.2018

Kyung Hee University, Rising Tall as the Central Axis of the ‘Water Industry’

Chosen as the lead institution contracted to run the ‘Gyeonggi Province Water Industry Support Center (WISC),’ Kyung Hee officially launched the Center on April 26th.

Based on this contract, Kyung Hee will serve as the control tower for water industry in the Gyeonggi province helping to develop relevant technologies and to nurture the industry into a strategic future business. By training professional talent and expanding into overseas markets, the project is also expected to create quality jobs.

The WISC was established as part of the ‘5-Year Water Industry Development Plan’ launched in 2015. Professor Jong-Min Oh of the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering heads up the Center which is composed of three teams: Water Industry Policy Team; Marketing Support Team; Implementation Support Team. The Center will receive 600 million KRW per year in funding for six years until 2021.

Playing diverse roles in the Gyeonggi-do water industry: From ‘central axes to ‘intermediator’
Kyung Hee has many departments that specialize in the water industry. In addition, given its diverse and active international exchange programs, the University was recognized for its advantageous position to set up future inroads into overseas markets. Academic departments involved in this project include the Departments of Environmental Science & Environmental Engineering (ESEE), Civil Engineering (DCE), and International Studies (DIS). It is expected that they will collaborate to create synergy with the soon-to-launch Future Environment Research Institute (FERI). By studying climate change, noxious microparticle, water, future cities, and public policy, FERI plans to develop a sustainable integrated water management smart system.

Professor Jong-Min Oh, Chief of the WISC, described the goal of the organization. “Rather than be a research center focused on technology development, WISC is an organization that supports government projects. By building a network between businesses and the government, and between research bodies and academia, the Center established strategies to respond to changes in the water industry. Moreover, it serves as a control tower that offers market approach models to assist in entering overseas water industry markets.”

WISC, however, is so much more than a control tower. It serves as the ‘central axis’ that generates synergy through the Gyeonggi-do water industry infrastructure cluster. Secondly, WISC is an ‘intermediator,’ as it compiles the needs and demands of various businesses involved in the water business, and provides efficient resolutions to conflicts. Finally, it is a ‘stepping stone’ that supports the Gyeonggi-do water industries by helping them to strengthen their overseas competitiveness


Build Gyeonggi-do water industry database; pave the way to overseas markets

In its first year, WISC’s goal for 2018 is to study policies that will help to cultivate the Gyeonggi-do water industry, and to analyze relevant technological trends and examples of overseas cooperation projects. Building an industry database for the Gyeonggi-do water business is a crucial part of this year’s plan. Once established, it will identify the various challenges businesses will confront, requirements that must be met to enter overseas markets, and support implementation of new technologies.

WISC will also invest significant energy into creating an interactive cluster that links various areas of the water businesses, such as engineering, construction, civil engineering, operation & management, water related technologies, and implementation. Once finished, the water industry cluster is likely to advance higher efficiency and cost competitiveness, enabling customized one-stop support in administration, talent matching, technology, and service marketing.

Chief Oh expressed his ambitions about the role and function of the WISC. He said, “I want to demonstrate that universities can do more than educate and research; we can play an intermediary role and serve as a stepping stone to technological development. ESEE and DCE can contribute to advancing the water industry, while the DIS can focus on international administration and diplomacy required to enter and compete in international markets. When these departments converge, they are bound to create more than the sum of their parts; they will create a synergistic impact.”

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