UCL Global


UCL explores opportunities to deepen collaboration with partners in South Korea

4 December 2023

UCL is deepening relationships with partners in South Korea to support the development of new collaborations across industry and academia.

UCL delegates visit Korea University

UCL has recently marked several milestones with South Korean institutions to work together to make discoveries to tackle today's global challenges.

In October 2023, a UCL delegation led by President & Provost Dr Michael Spence visited Seoul in South Korea to explore opportunities to strengthen UCL’s research and education collaborations in the country.

This marked the inaugural visit of a UCL President & Provost to South Korea. The visit itinerary included meetings with Korea University, the British Embassy Seoul, Seoul National University, Hyundai Motor Company and a student recruitment event with school counsellors at Dulwich College, Seoul.

Welcoming Korea University to UCL

Following a successful meeting with Korea University in Seoul, they reciprocated by visiting UCL on November 16 as part of their President-led visit to the UK. During the visit, UCL President & Provost Dr Michael Spence and Korea University President Professor Dong-One Kim signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

The MOU signifies a commitment to further engagement to enhance research cooperation across fields including, but not limited to, health, engineering, media, creative industries and Korean studies. It also emphasises the future potential to promote student mobility with Korea University.

A key next step for further development of collaboration with Korea University involves the provision of annual seed funding for an initial three-year period, commencing in late Spring/early Summer 2024, to foster collaborations in agreed areas of research and education.

Dr Michael Spence said: “UCL is delighted to sign this new agreement with Korea University. The agreement reflects our shared values and common desire to deepen our networks and create new collaborations across disciplines in pursuit of global excellence in research and innovation.”

MOU signing ceremony between UCL and Korea University 

Collaborating on carbon-free technologies

In November 2023, UCL and Hyundai Motor Company also signed an MOU focused on joint research in hydrogen production, fuel cells and electrification technologies. The MOU signing ceremony took place at Mansion House in London ahead of the UK-Korea Business Forum.

In attendance were government officials from both countries, including Moon-kyu Bang, South Korea’s Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy; Kemi Badenoch, Secretary of State for Business and Trade; Dong-wook Kim, Executive Vice President of Hyundai Motor Company; and Dr Michael Spence, President and Provost of UCL.

With both South Korea and the UK aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, Hyundai Motor looks to accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy and realise a sustainable future mobility ecosystem through this MOU and continued research and development of eco-friendly technologies.

UCL’s new Advanced Propulsion Lab, located on the UCL East campus in Stratford, is to play a pivotal role in the research.

This partnership will combine UCL’s world-leading engineering research with Hyundai’s expertise as one of the world’s leading automotive companies to accelerate the development of these vital technologies.

The MOU signing ceremony between UCL and Hyundai Motor Company

Exploring opportunities in artificial intelligence 

On 8 November, the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence welcomed a delegation from the Ministry of Science and ICT South Korea, including Vice-Minister Park Yun-Kyu, and researchers from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) to discuss opportunities for UCL and ETRI to collaborate on developing effective policy and regulatory responses to AI.

The visit came as the Governments of the UK and South Korea pledged to increase collaboration between the two countries with a series of science and technology agreements.

The UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence met a delegation from the Ministry of Science and ICT South Korea and ETRI

Featured image

UCL visit to Korea University, October 2023. 
Credit: Korea University