News and CommentKorea

In Land of Industrial Giants, Universities Nurture Start-Ups

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Science  29 Aug 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5330, pp. 1196-1197
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5330.1196

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SEOUL, KOREA-- Korean planners and economists believe that the nation's reliance on a few large conglomerates, the so-called chaebol that include such familiar names as Samsung, Hyundai, and Daewoo, has reached a dead end. That's why Sunyoung Kim, a molecular biologist at Seoul National University, has suddenly found himself not only the founder of a company to commercialize a new gene-therapy technique but also a role model for Korean entrepreneurs and the recipient of front-page newspaper and television coverage, admiring letters from high schoolers, and envious phone calls from friends.