Mergers in Industrial Tech Development Pay Off
Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology is given high marks for restructuring and innovations
Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) is an institute responsible for setting up plans for the mid-to-long term development of technologies and the analysis of the results of the plans, in addition to providing support for manpower training, the development of parts, building an industrial base for international cooperation and related industrial policies.
Last year, the initial year of KIAT¡¯s mergers with other similar organizations, its operation has been successful in key areas including organizational reform and improvement in productivity under the leadership of President Kim Yong-keun.
The number of assignments by government agencies such as the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) increased by 40 percent, leading to the increase in the institute¡¯s budget to 1.4 trillion won this year, from 1 trillion won in 2009.
CEO Kim said KIAT is to become results-oriented from this year in its evaluation of its operations, now that the chemical integration of the institute is completed.
No one doubts Kim¡¯s qualifications as head of KIAT as he is a career government official who has been in charge of various technology-related areas, having held various positions at the MKE including director-general of the Industrial Policy Bureau and chairman of the Industrial Technology Foundation, among others.
From the time he assumed the office, he called for the integration of various similar organizations. He first took moves to integrate manpower training roles and those in charge of regional development in such a way as to help speed up their advancement by simplifying their ways of operations, along with reforms in the ways to provide support and the means to carry them out.
Kim steered the institute to trim the number of regional industrial projects from 25 in four industrial areas to 10 projects in three areas. He also led KIAT to reduce the number of manpower training programs to 24 in 12 areas from 60 programs in 25 areas. He also managed to change the support that KIAT provided to those projects to be based on results in the previous periods, rather than providing support based on the designated areas.
Kim was also able to achieve an economy of scale in the merger of five organizations. The ratio value of workload per person has been boosted to 5.4 billion won from 3.6 billion won before the merger with reductions in personnel expenses during the May to December 2009 period in the amount of 1 billion won out of the 12.3 billion won budgeted for the period.
He also successfully carried out the restructuring of the institute by having the technology strategy headquarters and the base building headquarters merged under the responsibility of the vice president of KIAT and set up the management plan headquarters to strengthen the overall control of the institute. Kim also set up the business management group to take charge of customer relations and the public relations of KIAT.
KIAT also held various events to fan the development of industrial technologies such as ¡°tech+forum,¡± the Korea-OECD reform policy roundtable, the Korea Technology Grand Award and regional expositions around the country. KIAT also laid out blueprints for integrated technology development, the formation of the new growth engine development fund, Korea¡¯s admission to Eureka as a junior member and the certificate for green growth businesses, among others, to boost Korea¡¯s international image.
Other government agencies such as the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology assigned projects to KIAT as its expertise in technology development support became widely known.
Kim decided to make this year a year for a chemical mixing of KIAT to boost its various projects. Both management and labor agreed to reform the number of positions and to base the reimbursement system on performance results. Based on the new reimbursement system of performance evaluation, they agreed that performance bonus amounts can vary by up to 250 percent this year and 300 percent next year.
The successful experience in the restructuring of the regional and manpower training businesses will also be used to do the same for the industrial base and parts materials sectors, among others, under Kim¡¯s leadership. nw
President Kim Yong-keun of Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology.