URI, Korean Institute partner on pollution prevention
KINGSTON, R.I.-- April 18, 2000 -- The University of Rhode Island Center
for Pollution Prevention and the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology
(KITECH) today signed an agreement to collaborate on research and education
initiatives involving industrial pollution prevention and cleaner production.
The agreement is in part a result of a trade mission to Asia made by
Governor Lincoln Almond, URI faculty, the Rhode Island Economic Development
Corporation, and others in 1997.
"There were many successes from the trade mission to Asia in 1997,
including laying the groundwork for this announcement," said Governor
Lincoln Almond. "This agreement between URI and the Korean Institute
will create a global partnership with the intent of reducing pollution and
developing better environmental industry practices. This will also foster
an educational relationship that will result in an exchange of important
information and ideas. I look forward to the environmental gains this collaboration
could bring about."
"Many environmental issues have global implications, so it is appropriate
to collaborate on solutions with institutions on opposite sides of the globe,"
said URI President Robert L. Carothers. "This partnership will contribute
significantly to future advances in environmental protection technologies
A delegation of academics and government officials from South Korea,
including representatives from KITECH's National Center for Cleaner Production
(NCCP), visited Rhode Island in January 2000 to learn more about the state's
environmental protection programs. Since the NCCP is similar to URI's Center
for Pollution Prevention, a formal collaboration was proposed.
"The Korean government understands that changing the domestic industrial
structure to an environment-friendly structure is the most urgent task in
order to deal with the intensifying environmental concerns," said KITECH
President Chong Ku Lee. "In an effort to expand NCCP's capabilities,
we are looking forward to collaborating with URI on projects related to
cleaner production and other environmental issues."
Although a formal, detailed work plan has not yet been established, the
partnership agreement recommends such collaborations as the following:
1. Formation of a Joint Center for Pollution Prevention a setting
for the Rhode Island and Korean partners to establish and promote initiatives
related to cleaner production, environmental health and technology transfer.
2. Personnel Exchanges provisions for staff and students from either
institution to visit the partner institution for the purposes of research,
study, internships, and lecturing.
3. Cooperative Research collaborative research on such topics as
biological and thermal treatment processes, membrane separation, water-based
polymerization, supercritical technology, environmental health issues, and
4. Conferences, Seminars and Information Exchange mutual exchange
of information via conferences and/or an information clearinghouse.
Several governmental agencies have also signed on to the agreement and
will play an integral role in the partnership.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has supported
pollution prevention activities at URI since 1989.
"We are honored to join our counterparts from South Korea in this
collaborative effort," DEM Director Jan Reitsma said. "Protecting
the environment through pollution prevention practices is a common goal
that reaches across national boundaries. I am delighted that the partnership
begun in 1997 is continuing to grow and has resulted in this joint Memorandum
The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation serves as a liaison
for the partnership between the business community and environmental agencies.
EDC will also coordinate the technology transfer aspect of the collaboration
as it is related to the export of Rhode Island products.
In South Korea, the Industrial Location and Environment Division of the
Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy has supported KITECH activities
since 1995 and will also support the collaboration.
Governor Almond was joined by 13 Rhode Island businesses on the trade
mission to Malaysia, Singapore and Korea. Approximately $8.3 million in
new business was generated as a result of the 130 serious leads developed
during the trip. Businesses participating received a customized schedule
of one-on-one business appointments based on their individual objectives
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For Information: Eugene Park 222-4700, x 4415 or 874-2655,
Todd McLeish 874-7892