National Science & Technology Commission(NSTC)

The Problem

The Republic of Korea had increased its R&D investment by 10% every year, and the efficiency of R&D investment had been a national issue.

The Korean government had investigated, analyzed, and assessed national R&D projects every year, and then it had announced the assessment results before the initiative. However, the release of information was limited and announcement time was deferred. Therefore, Korean government agencies, universities, research institutes, and companies had difficulties in using such results.

Each governmental agencies exclusively possessed and managed its R&D information. This fact required much time and many efforts to establish R&D strategies, make a budget, and assess national R&D projects. Also, the budget was assigned to similar and overlapped R&D projects.

Small and medium businesses and individual researchers had difficulties in using research facilities and could not get counseling of experts about the complicated procedures. Common utilization procedure lacked in accessibility to source data of national R&D, which has continuously required administrative reform quite simplified.

To solve problems described above, the National Science & Technology Commission (NSTC hereinafter) legislated knowledge management policies so that ministries, universities, research institutes funded by the government, companies, and citizens could share and use national R&D information together. Based on this, it was possible to provide one-stop service to citizens by integrating national R&D information created by ministries.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The NSTC established the National Science and Technology Information Service of Korea (NTIS hereinafter) by collaborating with 15 ministries. The NTIS has provided convenient one-stop access to information on R&D projects, budget, human resources, equipment and facilities, and outcome in real time so that medium and small companies and individual researchers could conveniently access and use national R&D information. The number of registered members exceeded 80 thousand as of December 2011 after its first public service in March 2008. The user satisfaction has continuously increased with a rate of 66, 75, 76.5, and 77.1 in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively.

The NTIS also has eliminated obstacles to common utilization of high-cost research facilities by national R&D information sharing, openness, and cooperation through all the ministries and achieved groundbreaking productivity by simplifying provision processes of high level national R&D information.

The NTIS has offered comprehensive research outcomes including academic papers and patents which accounts for further research, technology transfer, and relevant industrialization promotion. It should be noted that it successfully excluded any possibility of duplicated report submission of previously processed agenda following the information sharing, which suggests a reduction of administrative nuisances and prevention of repeated investment in national R&D projects.

Results of an NTIS’s analysis as of 2008 showed that the service produced an economic ripple effect corresponding to 911.9 billion or more during the 5 year-period (2009∼2013) via prevention of repeated project implementation and repeated facility purchase, integrated management of facilities in disuse or not in service, and improved performance of research management.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
In October 2003 the NTIS was planned as a one-stop service of national R&D information by the contemporary president’s order, as the efficiency of national R&D investment became a national issue.

The NSTC performed the Information Strategy Planning (ISP) and the ITA (Information Technology Architecture) through 2005 and 2006 to develop an information system that could collectively harness national R&D information, which had been controlled by each governmental branch separately. On the basis of the preliminary work, the NSTC had developed the 1st phase the NTIS among 2 phases in total since 2007. Since 2010 it has been making headway with NTIS in order to further advance it as both national R&D knowledge and information portal and national R&D knowledge infrastructure.

The biggest problem in formulating knowledge and information management policies and providing one-stop service was to collect information created and managed exclusively by ministries. To facilitate this complicated role assignment of stakeholders and opinion coordination, the NSTC organized and managed the National R&D Information Management Commission, an expert council, and a working-level council.

Stakeholders relevant to information linkage: 30 ministries conducting R&D, 16 representative technical institutes assigned by each ministry, 130 organizations charged with R&D projects, 8 organizations managing achievement of R&D projects, and 16 cities. Stakeholders relevant to information application: university researchers, companies, citizens, governmental agencies, organizations managing projects, the National Assembly, and Korean state auditor.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The National R&D Information Management Commission and the NSTC worked out objectives and strategies of the NTIS. The objective of the NTIS is to reconsider the efficiency of R&D investment by developing a system to integrate and manage national R&D information that has been managed separately in each ministry and/or administration in order to share such information. The NSTC has set up 3 tasks to achieve such intent as well as 3 key indices to objectively assess any potential achievements.
A. 3 tasks for the goal achievement
(1) To improve research productivity by national R&D information sharing and opening among all the ministries
(2) To provide one-stop service for ministries, researchers, and the public need; and to reconsider the transparency and effectiveness of the NTIS by providing information according to individual interests via e-mail and SMS (Short Message Service)
(3) To promote knowledge creation and availability of research results via active cooperation among ministries (G2G), businesses and researchers (G2B), and the public (G2C)
B. 3 key performance indices for assessment
(1) Real time collection rate of project information: This parameter is to be controlled throughout all the relevant ministries and prevent, by making the best use of project information of the concerned year for which the user searches similar projects, repeated implementation of similar projects.
※ 2009: 60% → 2010: 70% → 2011: 80%
(2) User satisfaction rate: 10% of the NTIS users are to be surveyed online each year to examine their satisfaction and NTIS efficiency.
(3) Data quality rate (Data error rate): Data error rate of mandatory items is to be calculated to secure quality data of NTIS.
※ 2008: 4.7%, 2009: 2.3%, 2010: 1.75%, 2011: 1.7%

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
After the NSTC deliberated and passed the NTIS Establishment Bill in July 2004, it had consequently been building up the Information Strategy Planning (ISP) for 6 months since January 2005. 8 core prosecution programs were produced analyzing demands collected from related ministries, research management institutes, and relevant national R&D project-related infrastructure for foundation information has been pushed ahead since 2006.

A collaboration system both inside and outside NTIS was arranged and started operation in March 2007 for effective prosecution of NTIS programs and reinforcement of inter-ministry cooperation. The science and technology related ministerial council held in May 2007 determined to coordinate the previous 8 core prosecution programs into 7 taking into consideration the change in environment and deliberated and passed the NTIS Project Prosecution Plan (2007∼2009) which prescribed 14 detailed prosecution projects gathered from demand assessment.

National R&D information standards were developed to be applied under a inter-ministries scheme in August 2007 and started providing the public, according to the user’s access authority, with information related to national R&D project in cooperation with 15 ministries as of the end of May 2008.

The SOP has been being implemented since it was set up in 2007 for stable operation and determined responsibility sharing. The Regulation of National R&D Project Management was revised in May 2008 aimed at specifying representative technical organization for each ministry and connecting to NTIS to flawlessly process information integration under a real time scheme among 15 ministries.

In 2010 The NSTC deliberated and passed the NTIS Advanced plan (2010∼2012) to jump into e-business infrastructure.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
A. There was a reduction of administrative nuisances and prevention of repeated investment in national R&D projects. To solve this, the NTIS was established to serve national R&D information through one channel, and it started service for the public from March 2008. The NTIS also had a system searching similar and overlapped projects so that information on projects should be shared on real time.
B. The NTIS created and managed internal and external collaboration from role-sharing and opinion-coordination of complicated stakeholders (e.g., G2G, G2B, G2C). It also established the SOP including roles of stakeholders and guidelines of task processes.
* Note : G2G accounts for a precautionary measure against repeated project (efficiency improvement of R&D investment) under a real-time sharing scheme of project and research subject information carried out by all the ministries, etc.; G2B accounts for a cyber mentoring service with a cyber mentoring volunteer club to mitigate obstacles to common utilization of high-cost government-financed research facilities for small and medium businesses, etc.; G2C accounts for real-time notification of national R&D projects via e-mail and SMSs, automated one-stop service for common utilization processes of national R&D, which has reduced process time from 3 to 2 weeks, and provision of science and technology statistics data encompassing 600 and counting, etc.
C. The NTIS established National R&D information standards under a trans-ministries scheme through conference of related ministries considering the current state investigation of the R&D project, comprehensive coordination and their common utilization. It also established and used the NTIS governance system based on relevant global standards (ITIL, COBIT, ISO 20000, ISO 27001) to improve continuously and optimize task processes.
D. The NTIS prepared national R&D information standards and relevant legislation and/or institutionalization for their effective circulation to secure practice effectiveness.
* Relevant laws: Article 25 and 26 of the Regulation of National R&D Management Project

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The National R&D Information Management Commission passed the NITS Basic Plan (2007 ~ 2009) and Advanced plan (2010∼2012). Budget is to be assigned for the plans every year.

The NSTC was responsible for a planning and budget. It also organized the department of NTIS and involved two research institutes (the number of human resources: approximately 40)

The NTIS was created and managed by major 8 projects. The total budget was approximately $48,983,000 from 2006 to 2011, and annul average budget was approximately $8,164,000.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
The NTIS has been conducted by Article 25 and 26 of the Regulation of National R&D Management Project.
The NTIS established a governance system following international standards for the stability of the system.
* Establishment of EA (2006)
* Establishment of SOP based on ITIL and COBIT (2007)
* Acquirement and management of ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 (2008~2011)
* Preparation of a Data Quality Management system (2009)

Because the NTIS integrates all national R&D information, it can practically help universities, researchers, and companies. As a result, this system is applicable to ministries, local governmental agencies, and companies. In particular, medium and small companies even with low budget and small number of human resources can improve work efficiency and productivity by using the NTIS.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
Lessons from legislation of national R&D knowledge management policies and the development of the NTIS system follow as:
A. The world’s first, leading model as a national R&D information portal in which all information is intimately linked to each other, from project notification to national R&D assessment, to provide comprehensive information
B. Convergence of users’ opinions out of diversified channels such as web sites, mobile services, and Twitter followed by provision of services for ministries(G2G), businesses and researchers(G2B), and the public(G2C);
C. It’s first central governmental body to have complied with relevant global standards in that it established the governance encompassing planning, implementation, and assessment of NTIS via complying with relevant global standards and improved global reliability via continuously optimizing business processes;
Note: SOP establishment on the basis of ITIL and COBIT; ISO 20000, 27001 attainment and maintenance
D. A representative success, turning out to be a benchmark for other ministries and organizations, with year-round collaboration scheme from inside and outside to coordinate interests and collect opinions from a variety of ministries and organizations
E. Compliance with global standards, development of national R&D information standards, and relevant legislation to secure interoperability among different systems and eventually effectiveness of NTIS practice
F. Reliable services acknowledged by national and international awards
2008: Korea Software Technology Excellence Award
2009: Korea Software Technology Excellence Award
2010: Korea IT Innovation Excellence Award
2011: e-Asia Award

Contact Information

Institution Name:   National Science & Technology Commission(NSTC)
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Ok-Nam Jung
Title:   Deputy Director  
Telephone/ Fax:  
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Postal Code:  

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