A decade after its launch, Innovation Centre Denmark (ICDK) Seoul has established itself as a pivotal link between Danish and Korean innovation communities across research and industry. Founded with a mission to connect minds and foster innovation, the ICDK continues to play a key role in bridging collaborations and generating new opportunities between Denmark and Korea.
In an interview with Korea Times at the Danish Embassy in central Seoul, marking the 10th anniversary of the center's launch in Korea, Ditte Veise, executive director of ICDK Seoul, shared the story behind placing the center in Seoul and how it works.
"We fundamentally see our role as creating a bridge between Korean and Danish innovation communities and make it easier to collaborate," Veise said, highlighting that ICDK works from a broad notion of innovation where both researchers as well as businesses and institutions can be part of collaborations.
"We facilitate the collaboration through different means ― firstly by creating awareness, but also by for example supporting innovation networks and connecting with R&D incentives and programs and organizing delegations."
Located among global innovation hubs such as Silicon Valley, Boston, Munich, Tel Aviv, Shanghai and Bangalore, ICDK Seoul is part of Denmark's concerted effort to foster international collaboration. Supported by both the Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ICDK's core mission is to enhance international connectivity in research and innovation.
"Korea is a highly digitized society and for example smart cities has been a sustained area of interest over the years. From a Danish context where our largest city, Copenhagen, has less than 1 million people, the scale and the density of Seoul is immense, but also a window to applying new technologies, recently for example the metaverse. We also see interest in some of the unique testbeds for city technologies in Korea such as the Eco Delta living lab in Busan."
She also noted the recognition of the geopolitical strategic dimension of R&D, especially when it comes to collaboration in critical technologies like quantum technology or artificial intelligence (AI).
"Countries are also being selective today, we want to develop with the right partners ― it is not just about working internationally, but working with partners who share the same vision for technology use, for example." she said.
Denmark and Korea have proven to be good partners in this evolving landscape, with a strong track record of collaboration. Building on mutual trust and shared interests in developing critical technologies, the partnership also extends to considering the ethical aspects of technology.