The famed incubation and technology transfer experts of ICİ÷ Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, sent a team to tour Daejeon Metropolitan City and the Daedeok Innopolis research cluster on Thursday, August 6. The team consulted with entrepreneurs and visited city hall to meet with Mayor Park Seoung-hyo and to sign a three-way memorandum of agreement between Daejeon Metropolitan City, Daedeok Innopolis and ICİ÷ Institute that lays the groundwork for an ICİ÷ Institute office in Daejeon in the new Daedeok Innopolis Business Hub (slated to open in October, 2009).
This agreement marks the first effort of an international technology transfer program to establish itself on the ground in Daejeon. ICİ÷ Institute currently runs a Gyeonggi-University of Texas Innovation Program in Suweon, Gyeonggi-do.
Dr. Sid Burback, Director of the ICİ÷ Institute Global Commercialization Group, spoke eloquently about the significance of the agreement,
"The University of Texas at Austin has a long tradition of collaboration both locally and internationally. We work to promote close working relations between the University of Texas and high tech companies. In Daejeon we see remarkable potential in one of Asia's most livable cities. We are deeply impressed by how you have transformed this city into a technology center. We expect to become a part of Daejeon, and put our roots down in Daedeok Innopolis' remarkable entrepreneurship culture."
Mayor Park remarked,
"We see in this MOU with the ICİ÷ Institute a true win-win relationship that will develop, in my opinion, into a long-lasting relationship. We are looking towards the future. The ICİ÷ Institute has clearly seen the remarkable capability of Daejeon and we are excited by the potential synergy of this agreement."
Mr. Joel Momberger, Program Director of the Gyeonggi-University of Texas Innovation Program was also on hand.
Mr. Momberger noted that Daejeon was a natural place for ICİ÷ Institute to look for future partners as a hotbed of innovation.
Mr. Burback described the ICİ÷ Institute's future role,
"The technologies we see here in Daejeon have great potential in the international market. We want to get them the exposure that they deserve. We want to sit down with inventors and technicians and walk them through all the steps of setting up a successful enterprise."
Dr. Burback and Mr. Momberger also attended a seminar on marketing technology in the United States held at KISTI (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information) where they exchanged ideas with local entrepreneurs.
Using an interdisciplinary approach, the ICİ÷ Institute advances a "Theory and Practice of Entrepreneurial Wealth Creation." The theories and hypotheses developed at ICİ÷ are tested in life-scale through the Austin Technology Incubator, the Bureau of Business Research and the Global Commercialization Group