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Academic-Industry-Government Cooperation in Fostering Software Talent Receives a Favorable Review
By Dongkyu Shin
October 31, 2011 11:00 AM PT

Translated from the Digital Times, Sept. 5

While fostering software-engineering talent has become a major issue in Korea because of rapid changes in the global IT market, such as Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility and HP’s thoughts of selling its PC business, software-engineering talent-fostering program in cooperation with industry and government also has been discussed.

Led by Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy and National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), Information Technology/Software (IT/SW) Creative Research Course Program, started last year, has been evaluated as a new model in academic-industry-government collaboration, featuring Microsoft Korea, LG Electronics, and NHN, is worthy of notice given recent market issues.

Korean Day demo floor
Meng Hui Lim (right), a Ph.D. candidate from Yonsei University, presents research results to Jiyoung Jung, a Microsoft Research Asia intern from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, during Korean Day, held Sept. 1 in Beijing.

Microsoft Korea participated in software-engineering talent fostering through the academic-industry-government program. As part of the first year of the IT/SW Creative Research Course, Microsoft Korea will provide a six-month internship opportunity for students at Microsoft Research Asia and give an extended internship opportunity at Microsoft Research Redmond for outstanding interns after six months in the Microsoft Research Asia internship program.

“Perfunctory internship programs such as photocopying and miscellaneous work for highly talented students should be stopped,” said Miran Lee, senior manager of University Relations for Microsoft Research Asia. “Microsoft Research’s internship program provides an experience for students to work with world-class researchers, as well as learning their research skills in one-on-one coaching.”

Microsoft Korea held Korean Day at Microsoft Research Asia in Beijing on Sept. 1with participating students and professors presenting their research results.

“After six months in the internship program at Microsoft Research Asia, I found that students have more interest in their research and study,” said Seung-won Hwang, professor at POSTECH, who attended the event as one of 15 professors from 18 selected projects for the first year. She and her students who led the project presented a demo of their work.

It has been evaluated in the marketplace as an example of a company leads a software-engineering talent-fostering program in cooperation with government.

LG Electronics will select 10 projects with 40 participating students and provide a two-month internship opportunity. Providing scholarship and potential hiring are under consideration. NHN will select 10 projects, with 3-5 students on each team, focused on gaming and portal-, and infrastructure-related research projects. NHN also will provide internship opportunities with the potential for hiring.

“The main purpose of the IT/SW Creative Research Course Program is to foster software-engineering talent for industry through experiencing world-class research infrastructure and research skills at world-leading companies,” said Jun-woo Shin, director of NIPA’s principal Human Resource Development team. “We expect that the knowledge made available by large companies as part of their social responsibilities will help reduce the gap between academic goals and industrial requirements.”