KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) with Jeonbuk National University (JBNU) of South Korea and Kathmandu University officially started the 2nd phase of the project “Integrated Rural Development of Nepal through Strengthening Research and Development Capacity of Kathmandu University”
In the presence of Prof. Dr. Subodh Sharma, Registrar of KU, Sunghoon Ko, Country Director of KOICA Nepal Office and Prof. Dr. Gi Hwan Cho, Executive Vice President for Research of JBNU.
The project started in 2016 with a total budget of USD 10 million and completed the 1st phase in December 2020. In the event, KU and PMC signed a deal to transfer funds to KU for the 2nd phase project implementation.
The eight years project is being implemented with the goal to strengthen the research and development capacity of Nepal to improve the quality of life and income status of people in rural communities of Nepal through technology innovation.
In the 1st phase, various activities like the establishment of the Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP)/Nepal Technology Innovation Center (NTIC) Master plan, reinforcement of management capabilities of NTIC through 7 pilot projects have been carried out successfully. The construction of the state-of-the-art NTIC Building (3117 sq. m.) is ongoing and 17 highly specialized scientific research equipment shall be installed in KU within May 2021.
In the 2nd phase, the project is implementing support programs in 7 major project themes; Research and Business Development Support (R&BD), Testing and Accreditation, Smart Health, School-based Enterprise, Start-up & Incubation, Education & Training, and Technology Database & Networking. The main purpose to implement these projects is to establish a system for NTIC operation and enhance research and development capacity to promote technological innovation.
In the program, Sunghoon KO, the Country Director of KOICA expressed that the 2nd phase of the project will create a solid foundation for the successful operation of NTIC. He added that the NTIC will be positioned as an excellent platform to facilitate research innovation, start-ups and incubation for the innovators in Nepal and their global partners.
Likewise, Prof. Dr. Subodh Sharma, Registrar of KU assured me that he along with his team will do their best to make the project successful. He shared that the benefits of the project are beyond KU and he hoped to continue a partnership with KOICA in the coming days as well.