“Leading Sustainable Development by Creating New Value from Discarded Pollack Skin”

2021-03-08 Academic

Students Jisoo Kim, Kihyun Kim, and Yejin Kim of the Department of Russian Language received the Grand Prize at the New Northern Youth Future Pioneer Contest for their proposed business plan to manufacture high-value-added products with collagen extracted from discarded pollack skin. They successfully leveraged their knowledge of Russian culture to devise an original business model with high profit potential.

Three students from the Department of Russian Language, Jisoo Kim (‘16), Kihyun Kim (‘17), and Yejin Kim (‘17), received the Minister of Foreign Affairs Award, which is the Grand Prize at the Ministry’s New Northern Youth Future Pioneer Contest.

The three Kyung Hee Russian language majors proposed a business to manufacture high-value-added products with collagen extracted from discarded pollack skin, a by-product of fish processing. In order to maximize their respective expertise in major studies, they jointly formed with students from the Department of Marine Business & Economics (Pukyong National University) a combined team named Марина (“Maria”) and applied for the competition. The team chose fishery out of the nine bridges (shipbuilding, seaports, arctic shipping lanes, natural gas, railroads, electricity, labor, agriculture, and fisheries), which are the strategic fields of the government’s new northern policy, and sought a cooperative relationship that would mutually benefit both Korea and Russia.

Coming up with business ideas through classes that showed more of the world
The arctic region is rich in energy resources, but the industrial infrastructure to actualize its economic value is relatively inadequate. The team paid extra attention to this fact, with which they incorporated what they learned from classes. Student Yejin Kim explained, “My department classes are mostly on the Russian language and literature, but Capstone Design by Professor Haeng-Gyu Choi inspired me to come up with the business idea.” “Local Russian experts invited to deliver special lectures gave me the idea of generating profits while processing fish. With the focus on strengthening the Korea-Russia cooperation, I chose pollack which is mostly caught in Russia,” she added.

The team Марина raised the feasibility of their business by emphasizing that Russia is a powerhouse in the fishery but lags in processing technology. "To cut costs, Korea can share its R&D technology with Russia to set up a local processing plant there and to conduct the export business,” said Student Kihyun Kim. To put the plan into practice, the team created a hypothetical brand, Teh, and designed products, such as specialty health foods, pills, jelly, beverages, beauty facemasks, and facial cream. They noticed that Korean collagen products are primarily designed for ease of consumption. "We thought pills and jelly would be an easy way to ingest collagen. In consideration of Russia’s growing interest in cosmetics, we added sheet masks and cream,” explained Student Jisoo Kim.

“Department classes and guidance from professors supported their prize-winning effort.”
The team Марина was selected Youth Pioneer Group for the contest, now in its second year, and the team was going to visit Russia to experience the local industry but the plan was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The contest itself was delayed several times because the situation showed no sign of relief. Despite the setbacks, Professor Woo-Seob Yun’s guidance was a great help. "Professor Yun's feedback helped us continue to supplement and upgrade our proposal,” said Student Yejin Kim. "Professor Se-Eun Kwon’s class, Korea and Russia, taught me how to create my own perspective on Korea-Russia cooperation,” noted Student Jisoo Kim.

The three students agreed they were pleased at their accomplishment, considering the contest was their first ever attempt in the fisheries business.

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