The Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Communications Commission (hereinafter 'KCC') held the '2023 Science and ICT Day Commemorative Ceremony' on the afternoon of the 21st at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Center.
The ceremony, which coincided with the 56th day of science and the 68th day of ICT, was prepared to inspire pride and honor in science and ICT professionals and to promote the vision of Korea's scientific and digital future by awarding government commendations to those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science and ICT.
This year's event was held under the theme of “Global scientific and technological powerhouse ‧ Realizing a model digital nation" and was broadcasted live through YTN Science, Naver TV, Kakao TV, and other platforms to reach a wider audience.
Major officials from sectors related to science, technology, and telecommunications, including Prime Minister Duk-Soo Han, Minister of Science and ICT Jong-Ho Lee, Hyo-Jae Kim, a standing member of the Korea Communications Commission, Tae-Sik Lee, president of the Korea Federation of Science and Technology Societies, and Joon-Hyung Noh, president of the Korean Federation of ICT Societies, attended the event. A total of 273 people, including those who contributed to the promotion of science, technology, and telecommunications, as well as those who contributed to the successful launch of the Nuri rocket, were awarded at the event, with 166 awardees attending in person and the remaining recipients participating online.
Prime Minister Duk-Soo Han said, "Korea now stands tall as a leading country in science and technology and a model country in the digital era, having achieved the third-best science infrastructure and second-best future readiness in the world, and leaping to become one of the seven major space powers in the world." He added, "I believe that these are the result of the sweat and passion that you have poured out so far, and I express the utmost respect.”
Furthermore, he emphasized that "the competition for advanced science and technology is very fierce in the world today. Many countries are concentrating their efforts to secure technological sovereignty that guarantees future growth and advancement." He added, "Behind the brilliant growth of the Korean economy is the fact that even in moments of crises and challenges, the country did not hold back on investment into science and technology and has done its best to prepare for the future. As a result, we have become a science and technology powerhouse, and a leading country in ICT sovereignty."
Prime Minister Han emphasized, "We are leading the world in semiconductor, display, and rechargeable battery sectors with unparalleled technologies, and as one of the four countries in the world that possess super-sized AI services, we are also moving quickly to establish a related ecosystem," adding, "I am confident that our status as a space power will be further solidified through this year's scheduled third launch of the Nuriho satellite and the establishment of the Korea Aerospace Research Institute."
Lastly, Prime Minister Han emphasized that "the government intends to further expand international cooperation involving science, technology, and information communication to contribute to the progress and prosperity of humanity.” He concluded, "It is hoped that those who have blossomed the flowers of advanced science and technology in the barren desert will demonstrate even greater capabilities."
In the field of promoting science and technology, a total of 83 individuals, including 26 recipients of the Order of Science and Technology Merit, 10 recipients of the Science and Technology Merit Medal, 21 recipients of the Presidential Commendation, 26 recipients of the Prime Minister's Commendation were awarded government commendations. Jong-Hae Kim, a senior professor at the Korea Institute for Advanced Studies, who played a leading role in the country's promotion to the highest national ranking by the International Mathematical Union, was awarded the Order of Science and Technology Merit for his contribution to enhancing the status of the domestic mathematical community. In addition, a total of 26 individuals received awards, including Seon-Yong Cha, Executive Vice President of SK Hynix Inc., was awarded the Order of Science and Technology Innovation for commercializing the world's first product used in ultra-high-speed, wideband memory, and high-performance servers (DDR5), thereby contributing to Korea’s competitiveness in the semiconductor field.
Ten people were awarded the Science and Technology Merit Medal including Hyun-Jung Kim, a professor at Sogang University who developed 3D imaging technology using X-ray diffraction and identified the properties of zeolites, metal nanoparticles, and other materials, thus contributing to the dissemination of convergence research, and Dong-Geun Han, a professor at Cha University of Medicine and Science who developed and commercialized high-performance, high-functionality, intelligent, and biocompatible medical materials, thus contributing to the development of the medical industry.
A total of 21 people received Presidential Commendations, including Ji-Hoon Yoo, the head of the Korea Institute of Materials Science, who contributed to the technological dominance in the field of nanomaterials by identifying the structure, characteristics, and functions of nano-particles, and Su-Min Cho, the CEO of Iyuen, who developed a cloud-based program ('Meditong') for patient safety in medical institutions, thus contributing to the development of the medical industry.
The Prime Minister's Commendation was awarded to a total of 26 people, including researcher Jung-Il Kim from the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, who contributed to the technological innovation of advanced medical fields by developing high-precision linear accelerators and magnetron technology for radiation therapy equipment. Futhermore, professor Cheol-Han Song from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, who contributed to the establishment of infrastructure for atmospheric environment studies by developing a Korean type atmospheric quality prediction modeling system, was awarded the commendation.
In the field of national research and development performance evaluation, a total of 21 people (including one organization) were awarded government commendations, including 2 Merits, 5 Medals, 6 presidential commendations, and 8 prime minister commendations. Won-Ho Cho, a professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, received the Order of Science and Technology Merit, 3rd Class, for his contribution in expanding the practicality of plasma technology and securing related source technologies. Ki-Keun Kim, a senior researcher at the Agency for Defense Development, was awarded the Order of Science and Technology Merit, 4th Class, for his contribution to the successful development of the military satellite communication system-II, which has the world's highest performance. Medals were awarded to total of 5 people, including Seung-Bum Park, a professor at Seoul National University who contributed to research on regulating the human immune system and developed a candidate substance for self-immune disease treatment, and Hyuk-Jin Lee, a professor at Ewha Womans’ University who developed a system to effectively deliver mRNA vaccines and therapies into the body.
6 people were awarded the Presidential Commendation in the field of national research and development performance evaluation, including Yoon-Kyung Cho, a group leader at the Institute for Basic Science who contributed to personalized precision medicine for cancer by developing and commercializing a compat liquid-based tissue biopsy device that can be used in general hospitals, and Seung-Ho Shin, a principal researcher at the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology. In addition, 7 people received the Prime Minister’s Commendation in the field of national research and development performance evaluation, including Dae-Hyeong Kim, the vice-research director at the Institute for Basic Science, who contributed to securing the key technology for the implementation of superconducting and super-flexible nanofilm electrode materials, and Eun-Jung Kwon, a senior researcher at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute who contributed to enhancing rapid response during the pandemic through the development of an AI-based 119 reporting reception system. The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, which contributed to the establishment of the national standard system and related research and development performance dissemination, also received the commendation.
Professor Deog-Kyoon Jeong being awarded the Order of Service Merit, 2nd Class
In the ICT category, a total of 52 people (including 4 groups) were awarded government awards, including 5 merits, 6 medals, 18 presidential commendations, and 23 prime minister commendations. Professor Deog-Kyoon Jeong of Seoul National University, who contributed to enhancing the competitiveness of the Korean semiconductor industry as the chairman of the semiconductor research and development project, was awarded the Order of Service Merit, 2nd Class. Five people, including CEO Hee Hwang of Kakao Healthcare, who created a foundation for developing and exporting "Doctor and Serve 1.0" medical artificial intelligence and contributed to the growth of the digital healthcare industry, were awarded the Order of Industrial Service Merit, 3rd Class.
Medals were awarded to 6 people, including Seong-Hwan Kim, a professor at Ajou University for his contributions to creating a competitive environment in the broadcasting industry through his activities as a member of the Broadcasting Market Competition Evaluation Committee and the Media Diversity Commission. He received the Service Merit Medal. Sang-Il Ahn, CEO of Hyperconnect, who commercialized the world's first WebRTC (real-time communication technology) for mobile devices and enhanced its global status, was awarded the Industrial Service Medal.
Presidential Commendations were awarded to a total of 16 individuals and 2 organizations who contributed to the creation of an innovative and fair digital platform ecosystem. Recipients include Do-Yeon Hwang, CEO of Daangn Market, who contributed to the creation of an innovative and fair digital platform ecosystem, and Sun-Chul Hong, CEO of Daou Information Co., Ltd., who contributed to the improvement of the construction quality of information and communication companies through specialized technology and engineering.
A total of 21 individuals and 2 organizations were awarded the Prime Minister’s Commendation, including Sang-Yoon Lee, the executive officer of 4DREPLAY, who succeeded in the world's first global commercialization of multi-view video solutions and contributed to the innovation of sports broadcasting technology based on domestic 5G networks, and Seon-Ju Kwon, the CEO of Team9tail Inc., who contributed to innovation within IT services by creating ecosystems for functional games and digital therapeutics.
Following the successful launch of Nuriho, a total of 110 government awards were awarded, including 15 Merits, 19 Medals, 33 Presidential Commendations, and 43 Prime Minister’s Commendations. Among the awardees of merits was Jeong-Hwan Koh, the head of the Korean Space Launch Vehicle Development Project at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. He was selected as the awardee of the Order of Merit for successfully leading the development of Nuriho with domestic technology and contributing to the successful launch. Among the awardees of medals was Jong-Hoon Yoon, a senior researcher at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, who awarded the medal for his contribution to the successful launch by developing the Nuriho 1, 2, and 3-stage propulsion tank and analyzing and improving the cause of the problem with the 3-stage oxidizer tank.
31 individuals and 2 organizations who contributed to the systematic evaluation and management of the entire Nuri project were awarded Presidential Commendations, including Professor Eui-Seop Shin of Jeonbuk National University and Goheung Fire Station and the 31st Infantry Division. 43 individuals, including Sung-Mun Lim, technical director of Hanwha Aerospace Co., Ltd., who contributed to the development and successful launch of Nuri through the development of turbo pumps and supply valve and the assembly of the Nuri engine, were awarded Prime Minister’s Commendations.
During the commemoration ceremony, special contributions awards were presented to honor the achievements and express gratitude to the elders who have contributed to the development of the information and communication field. The special contribution award for information and communication, which was established in 2021, is an award given to the pioneers who have contributed to Korea's leap as an information and communication (IT) powerhouse. The award was presented to a total of seven people, including Professor Kil-Nam Jeon of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, who contributed to Korea's success as the second country in the world to successfully connect to the internet after the United States, and witnessed the development of computer technology in Korea in the 20th century.
Translated by: Do-Hyung Kim, English Editor of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, email@example.com