Signing of Memorandum of Understandung between KIAT and RWTH Aachen University

Dr Soek, Young Cheol, KIAT President, and Professor Dr Thomas Gries, ITA Institute Director, Source: Soyeon Schröder-Kim Copyright: © Soyeon Schröder-Kim

Dr Soek, Young Cheol, KIAT President, and Professor Dr Thomas Gries, ITA Institute Director, Source: Soyeon Schröder-Kim


The Memorandum of Understanding between KIAT (Korean Institute for Advancement of Technology) and RWTH Aachen University was signed in a ceremony on November 19th, 2020. The signing took place during the International Conference of Middle Market Enterprise Innovation (MMI) 2020. The signing ceremony was attended by the Rectorate Commissioner for Korea, Professor Dr Martin, and representatives of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Dr Thomas Gries. On the Korean side, the President of KIAT, Dr Suhk, signed. The Rectorate and the University support the cooperation, underlining the more than 70 years of exchange between Korea and Aachen. In the 150th anniversary year of RWTH Aachen University, this is a symbol for the further progress of the cooperation between Korea and RWTH Aachen University. The cooperation agreement supports the Korean German Technology Cooperation Center, which will start operations by 01.01.2021 in the Technology Center "Technologiepark Herzogenrath (TPH)". This will further strengthen the cooperation.

Address by Univ.-Prof. h.c. Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Thomas Gries, Director of the Institut für Textiltechnik and representative of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of RWTH Aachen University:

Here in the RWTH Aachen Senate session hall, I sit under the painting of Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, who founded the university 150 years ago as a public-private partnership together with industrialists from Aachen. But it is not only this historical date, there are other historical meanings. More than 55 years ago, Korean miners and nurses came to Europe to do their work here in the Aachen city region. They thus contributed to the economic miracle in Germany. Thank you very much, Gamsahamnida!

Today there is not a single coal mine in the region, but Aachen has become the heart of innovation for Europe. The RWTH Aachen University is the number one in research and cooperation with industry among all universities in Germany. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is home to the Internet of Production and Biobased Fuels clusters of excellence. It also addresses the main trends, namely Digitisation/Industry 4.0 and Bioeconomy. RWTH Aachen University also has the largest technology park (Industrial Convergence Center) between the university and industry. With an investment volume of almost four billion euros, it is the largest technology campus in Europe. We simply call it a campus because we take cooperation in the university between industry and academia for granted.

Against this background, there are numerous successful examples of cooperation between Korean middle market enterprises and RWTH Aachen University. As keynote speaker at MMI 2019, I had the honour of reporting in detail on these success stories.

Today's Memorandum of Understanding underlines this cooperation which will continue in a future-oriented way. In only five weeks, the Korean German Technology Cooperation Center (KGTCC) will start its work in the Technology Park Herzogenrath (TPH). The managing directors Dr. Johannes Pietzka and Dr. Kim John Gill were present at the signing ceremony. With the Memorandum of Understanding and the KGTCC, the cooperation between Middle Market Enterprises from Korea and the RWTH Aachen University will enter a new era. I look forward to a successful future and thank you for your trust and confidence in our cooperation.

Message of greeting by the Rectorate's representative for Korea Professor Dr Manfred Martin:

150th anniversary of the RWTH Aachen University. This should have been celebrated in Korea in March, had it not been for Covid-19. We will make up for this anniversary next year. The cooperation with Korea looks back on more than 70 years when the first Korean students arrived in Aachen. In the meantime the cooperation has developed very positively. The Korean Alumni Organisation is one of the largest foreign alumni organisations at RWTH Aachen University. Last year, during Rector Ulrich Rüdiger's visit to the Rectorate, the RWTH Liaison Office was opened in the centre of Seoul. It is headed by RWTH alumnus Dr Joseph Kim. Thus, Korean middle market enterprises and Korean scientists have a permanent contact point in Korea. Like this Liaison Office, today's signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between KIAT and RWTH Aachen University underlines the close ties between Korea and RWTH Aachen University. The Rectorate is looking forward to a further intensified cooperation!