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The culture and strategy which catapulted Korea through rapid industrialisation is ill-suited to the knowledge age. But Korea may surprise us once again. Young, well-educated Koreans have access to the best information infrastructure in the world and they are thinking differently. Korean popular culture has been on the crest of a wave – the hallryu – in the past few years. It may be that Korea is about to unleash a new wave of ubiquitous innovation.

The path will not be easy. The bearers of the new Korea face considerable social tension and upheaval as they challenge the structures which paved the way for their own emergence.

UK–Korea collaboration has the potential to yield excellent science with a quick translation to market, strengthening the capacity for innovation in both countries.

This pamphlet forms part of The Atlas of Ideas, an 18-month study of science and innovation in Asia, with a focus on opportunities for collaboration with the UK and Europe. The project is funded by the UK government and a consortium of public and private sector partners.

The Atlas of Ideas is a set of four reports edited by Charles Leadbeater and James Wilsdon. Download the other three reports:

The Atlas of Ideas: How Asian innovation can benefit us all
China: The next science superpower?
India: The uneven innovator