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UD signs agreement to establish energy center in South Korea

Jan. 5, 2010--Representatives from the University of Delaware and the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone Authority recently signed an agreement to establish a UD Center for Energy and Environmental Policy campus in Daegu, South Korea.

Participants in the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony, held on Dec. 22 in Hullihen Hall, included UD Provost Tom Apple representing UD President Patrick Harker; Michael Gamel-McCormick, dean of the College of Education and Public Policy; and John Byrne, University of Delaware Distinguished Professor of Energy and Climate Policy and director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy.

The Korean delegation, led by In Chul Park, commissioner of the Daegu-Gyeonbuk Free Economic Zone Authority (DGFEZA), also included Tae-Ik Kim, DGFEZA director general; Yeong-Goo Kwak, director of the Daegu Technopolis; and Jong-dall Kim, director of the Research Institute for Energy, Environment and Economy and also chairman of the School of Economics and Trade of Kyungpook National University (KNU).

The memorandum builds on the mutual interests of both parties in developing multilateral relations and cross-cultural enrichment and scientific progress, including the collaborative exploration of the feasibility of establishing graduate and research programs, including the Center for Environmental Policy in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone.

Potential measures to enhance these goals include:

--An exchange of information and faculty;
--A graduate educational program in energy and environmental policy, including green business administration;
--Collaborative research projects, scientific conferences and scholarships in energy and environmental policy; and
--Physical plant and facilities for UD Energy and Environmental Policy programs in Daegu.

“We welcome the delegation from South Korea,” Apple said. “We also celebrate the long-term relationship between UD's Center for Energy and Environmental Policy in the College of Education and Public Policy and the Daegu community.”

Byrne noted that the University of Delaware was excited about the furthering of its working partnership with the Daegu research and economic community.

“We are very grateful to have you here as our guests,” Byrne said. “We have come to the point where we have a very serious relationship, and we look forward to working with the Daegu community.”

The Daegu city government and the DGFEZA also view the agreement as an opportunity for Daegu Metropolitan City to become a leading city for the growth of green and regional economic growth, Park said.

“I understand that the University of Delaware, with over 260 years of history and a great tradition of excellence, is recognized as a prestigious and world-class university,” Park said. “I am also very impressed by the fact that UD has been designated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a national center of excellence.”

Park noted that the Korean government is pushing ahead with low-carbon green growth policy in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that Daegu-Gyeonbuk is working toward this by taking a leading role in the development of new and renewable energy measures, including photovoltaic, wind and fuel cells.

“In this regard, I find today's memorandum of understanding very meaningful for us,” Park said. “We expect the UD Daegu Campus to play a significant role in the field of energy and environmental policy not only in Korea, but also in Asia and in the rest of the world.”

Daegu-Gyeonbuk also plans to work with leading companies in Delaware and across the United States to develop new and renewable energy technology. Such efforts include the convening of the World Energy Congress, to be held in Daegu in 2013, Park said.

“The planned site for UD's Daegu Campus at the Daegu Technopolis accommodates three universities, including KNU and several national research and development institutes in the field of IT convergence, electronics, telecommunications, machinery and materials and industrial technology,” Park said. “It will be an ideal location for the UD Daegu Campus to cooperate with local universities and advanced institutes. We will do our best to establish the UD Daegu Campus successfully.”

Article by Jerry Rhodes