In the presence of Park, Chong-suk Ambassador of the Republic of Korea, Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, Vice Chancellor of KU and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) organized a completion ceremony of 1st phase under the Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP). The project was started in 2016 with the total budget of USD 10 million.
The project is being implemented with a goal to improve lives of rural people through strengthening research and development capacity of KU. Due to the COVID-19, some activities were implemented on an online basis this year. In this ceremony, STEPI(Science and Technology Policies Institute) & Jeonbuk National University shared the achievements and the progress of the 1st phase of pilot project, and the operation/management of NTIC by KU was also followed with some video clips. The achievements of 1st phase includes establishment of IRDP/NTIC Master Plan, early establishment of NTIC based on the master plan, and reinforcement of management capabilities of NTIC through 7 pilot projects. The 2nd phase of the project will start from next year.
Currently, KOICA is constructing a state of art Nepal Technology Innovation Centre (NTIC) building from September 2020 followed by equipment support for Agriculture and Regional Development(A&RD), Alternative and Renewable Energy(ARE) and Public Health related Livelihood(PHL) by May 2021. Furthermore, additional equipment will be supported by the end of 2022 after NTIC building construction is completed. The 2nd phase of the project will be implemented by NTIC with 7 main projects; R&BD, Equipment & Testing support, Smart Health Technology, School-based Enterprise, Start-up & Incubation, Training & Education, Technology DB& Networking
In the program ambassador Park, Chong-suk emphasized on the ownership of the project and assured that KU will receive continuous support from Korean Government to complete all these activities on time.
Previously, the Korean Government has supported in the establishment of Technical Training Center in KU. The key objective of establishing the training center was to provide skill-orientation quality training to the under-privileged and unemployed youth so as to produce skilled and technical workforce in Nepal.
Currently, the Dhulikhel Hospital is also being assisted by the Korean Government in improving rural health and income generation activities in 4 outreach centres of Dhulikhel Hospital. Furthermore, these projects emphasizes not only to improve capacities of KU and Dhulikhel Hospital but most importantly to contribute to Nepalese society at large through the partnership with KU and DH.
Likewise Dr. Ram Kantha Makaju Shrestha, reassured that his team will do their best to make this partnerships successful and expressed gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Korea for such a valuable support.
KOICA aims to contribute to the integrated rural development of Nepal by strengthening R&D capacity and hopes that NTIC can be a platform to facilitate research innovation, start-ups and incubation, thereby contributing in enhancing the quality of life for Nepali people through employment opportunities and local economic revitalization.