Gwangju City – SNU Electric Power Research Institute, cooperates in pushing for the establishment of national high magnetic field research institute in Gwangju
The city of Gwangju announced on the 2nd that it will, with SNU Electric Power Research Institute, push for the establishment of the national high magnetic field research institute in Gwangju for the advancement of future high-tech industries.
The city plans to lead future high-tech industries by dominating high magnetic field research, which is essential for the advancement of various scientific fields and manufacturing industries. The tactic is to combine it with strategic industries such as high-tech medicine, new energy industries, and eco-friendly cars.
<Yong-seop Lee, mayor of Gwangju, is looking around the Applied Superconductivity Lab with Professor Seung Ill Moon, the Director of SNU Electric Power Research Institute, and Seungyong Hahn, an authority in the field of superconducting magnets, during his visit to the SNU Electric Power Research Institute on the 26th.>
High magnetic fields mean that the intensity of the magnetic field is high. Research on high magnetic fields is a high-tech field in basic science that is widely applied in various scientific and industrial fields such as biology, chemistry, geoscience, energy, and biosciences as well as research on matter such as condensed matter physics, quantum matter, and superconductors.
Research facilities for high magnetic fields are counted as one of the three key large-scale research facilities in modern condensed matter physics along with radiation accelerators and devices for neutron scattering.
Nations advanced in science such as the U.S., Germany, and France have established national high magnetic field research institutes to support progress in the field of basic science. In Korea, however, even though national high magnetic field research institutes were named as a ‘short-term focus large-scale research facility’ in the ‘2nd national large-scale research facility roadmap’, the mid- to long-term roadmap for Korea’s large-scale research facilities that was decided by the National Science and Technology Committee in 2012, researchers and university are dispersed and the relevant technology has not been integrated even now.
The SNU Electric Power Research Institute holds an unmatched position in the field of high magnetic fields. The research team of Professor Seungyong Hahn achieved the world’s best record in direct current magnetic field technology along with the U.S.’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in 2019. With a novel technology using non-insulated, high-temperature superconducting magnets, the research team generated ultra-high magnetic fields (a record of 45.5 Tesla, DC magnetic field) that overcame previous limits and used safer methods. It became possible to diminish the size and weight of the magnet to less than one-hundredth the conventional magnet used.
For instance, the MRI in current usage is at the level of 3 Tesla (unit of magnetic flux density or magnetic field) and recently, a 7 Tesla MRI has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If a clinical MRI of 45 Tesla or more is developed based on such research results, it is possible to obtain diagnostic images of a resolution of more than 100 times higher than those based on preexisting technology. This will result in remarkable advances in the diagnosis of early cancer or vascular brain diseases such as dementia. Some say that whereas semiconductors are currently leading Korea’s economic growth as a national brand representing Korea, foundational technology that applies high magnetic fields may take the role similar to the semiconductor in the future development of the nation.
In 2016, the city began research on ‘Gwangju-si High Magnetic Field Research and Development (R&D) Support and Infrastructure Establishment’. Last June, it signed a business contract for the ‘establishment of a research center for applied sciences in magnetic fields’ with Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI), which is conducting high magnetic field research on the national level. In July, it held the ‘2020 tech forum on applied sciences in magnetic fields (2020 자기응용과학 기술포럼)’ with top Korean experts, Korea Basic Science Institute, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, and LS Cable and System. It has made steady preparations to push for the establishment of the ‘National High Magnetic Field Research Institute’ with related ministries, the National Assembly, and research institutes all along.
Mayor Yong-seop Lee announced, “As one of the focus projects of this year, we will push for the establishment of the national high magnetic field research institutes in Gwangju. This is another bold and innovative challenge that will open a new future in Gwangju following the selection of AI.”
<Yong-seop Lee, mayor of Gwangju, is announcing plans on the pushing forth the establishment of national high magnetic field research institutes in the city hall press on the morning of the 2nd.>
He added, “Technology that applies high magnetic fields are being used in various science fields such as material science, energy, and biosciences. In particular, applied technology of high magnetic fields have crucial impact in the medical field such as MRI for the diagnosis of cancer and analysis equipment for new drug development, energy fields such as energy storage devices, transportation fields such as electric propellants, and the manufacturing industry such as high-efficiency industrial devices.”
“If we dominate research in high magnetic fields, we will not only be able to grow into a leading city for basic sciences in the future, but also create a future engine of growth for Gwangju by linking it with high-tech medicine, the new energy industry, and eco-friendly vehicles.”
The mayor announced future plans, saying, “On February 26th, I personally visited the SNU Electric Power Research Institute and discussed the cooperative effort to push for the establishment of the research center in Gwangju and the necessity of constructing a national high magnetic field research institute. In order start pushing for locating the national high magnetic field research institute in Gwangju, we will launch a planning committee in March that will include members from the regional industry, academia, and research institutes. We will make great strides to locate the institute in Gwangju.”
Mayor Lee said that the construction of the high magnetic field research institute in Gwangju and AI will be the two wings to Gwangju’s approaching 100 years in the future. They will provide the foundation for high-tech basic scientific research. He requested the full support of citizens, saying that he will resolve the shortage of large-scale research infrastructure in basic sciences by trying to construct the high magnetic field research institute, a key facility in future basic science.
Translated by: Jee Hyun Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org