Economy, Sci & Tech

Tehran, Seoul Forge Scientific Partnership

Tehran, Seoul Forge Scientific PartnershipTehran, Seoul Forge Scientific Partnership

South Korea and Iran agreed to promote partnership in the fields of science and technology during South Korean President Park Geun-hye's landmark visit to Tehran.

South Korean Science Minister Choi Yang-hee and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Farhadi, met in Tehran on Monday to sign a partnership deal to run joint research and development projects related to sci-tech, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“Iran used to be a core partner in the ICT sector in the Middle East before the sanctions were implemented. The ministry will spare no effort to support Korean companies in the science and ICT sectors to enter the region,” said Minister Choi, who accompanied President Park on the three-day state visit.

The two ministries will launch a committee for overseeing the joint projects next year and fine-tune details of the partnership.

Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, a government research institute for biotechnology, will work with the University of Tehran to develop biofuels derived from micro algae.

A couple of major South Korean companies also held a meeting with Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari where they briefly presented their companies.

Sattari said Iran is keen on expanding cooperation with South Korean companies by launching joint research and development units.

“Cooperation in technology would help Korean companies save their market share in Iran,” he added.  

Research institutes under the Korean ministry will team up with Iranian universities and research organizations to operate joint ICT projects

  ICT Cooperation

The Korean ministry has reached an agreement with the Iranian Ministry of Information Technology and Communications to broaden bilateral ties in the information and communications sector.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, a state-run research agency, signed a memorandum of understating with the Iranian investment institute TEMInvest to develop and commercialize ICT technology. ETRI will support Korean ICT firms to tap into the Iranian market though the latest partnership.

TEMInvest has a 50% stake in Telecommunications Company of Iran, the nation’s largest telecom firm.

Private companies are also gearing up to make inroads into Tehran. Korean network carriers KT and SK Telecom will partner with local telecom services providers to operate new businesses here, including those for telecom infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

South Korea's No. 1 mobile carrier SK Telecom Company signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranian government as well as the National Iran Gas Company to join forces on developing the Internet of Things platforms.

SK Group and National Iranian Oil Company officials also discussed possible business partnerships.

DiGiFi Korea, which developed an antenna for satellite communications, said it has signed the agreement with Iran’s International Communication Company on Monday in Tehran.

The $7.5 billion deal is to provide equipment for an Iranian project to establish a low-orbit satellite communication network that would connect the entire area of the Middle East comprising 18,000 villages.

Under the agreement, the South Korean company will complete the design work for the satellite communication network by September before signing a formal contract and launching operations to establish the network in October.

Intro: South Korean corporations are gearing up to reenter the Iranian market

Highlight: SK Group and National Iranian Oil Company officials also discussed possible business partnerships

Caption: South Koreans have earmarked telecommunications as a potential area of investment.