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Seoul seeks to become formal member of European R&D program
SEOUL, May 28 (Yonhap) -- South Korea wants to become an official member of Euro Star 2, Europe's largest research and development program, the Seoul government said Tuesday.

   Euro Star 2 is a joint R&D program run by Eureka, a network of 40 countries, mostly European, for the development of industrial technologies. South Korea joined Eureka as an associate member in 2009, becoming the first non-European country in the 40-member network, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

   South Korea and Eureka have annually held a special forum since then, with this year's event set to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from Tuesday.

   The ministry said the country and Eureka were set to hold unofficial discussions on the sidelines of the three-day Korea-Eureka Day for South Korea's formal membership in the Euro Star 2 program by 2020.

   South Korean institutes have taken part in 41 Euro Star projects, worth 22.7 billion won (US$20.3 million), since 2006, according to the ministry.

   "During this year's event, nearly 200 one-on-one meetings between South Korean and European researchers and institutes will be held to tap new areas for cooperation," it said.

   Meanwhile, the ministry said vice minister Kim Jae-hong, while taking part in the Korea-Eureka Day, met with Turkey's deputy minister for industry, science and technology, Davut Kavranoglu, to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for cooperation on construction equipment.

   Turkey is currently taking part in various construction projects in neighboring Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries, but imports over 80 percent of its construction equipment needs, the ministry said.

   bdk@yna.co.kr
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