EU and Korea strengthen collaboration in digital transformation

The EU and Republic of Korea’s Digital Partnership Council agreed to collaborate on digital transformation, including semiconductors, High-Performance Computing, Quantum tech, 5G, AI, and cybersecurity, while planning for future cooperation in quantum tech, 6G, online platforms, trustworthy AI, and cybersecurity.

Seoul city

The European Union and the Republic of Korea held their first Digital Partnership Council in Seoul on 30 June 2023, where they agreed to cooperate on various aspects of digital transformation.

During the council, both parties agreed to collaborate on key technological areas such as semiconductors, High-Performance Computing (HPC), Quantum technology, 5G and beyond, platform economy, and AI. They also committed to strengthening cooperation in cybersecurity, promoting a fair online environment, and advancing digital connectivity, skills, and start-ups.

To ensure the progress and further development of the EU-Republic of Korea digital partnership, the next Digital Partnership Council is scheduled to take place in Brussels early in 2024. This upcoming gathering will serve as an opportunity to review the advancements made thus far and to strategise future steps in deepening the partnership.

Parties agreed to the following:

  1. Cooperation in semiconductors:
    • Establish a ROK-EU Forum for Semiconductor Researchers to promote research in complementary areas.
    • Explore research collaboration under the Chips Joint Undertaking on the EU side and next-generation semiconductor R&D project on the Korean side.
  2. Collaboration in High-Performance Computing:
    • Facilitate and enable researchers’ access to respective HPC infrastructures.
    • Jointly develop applications of societal relevance in areas such as bio-molecular field, extreme weather events forecasting, and materials science.
  3. Advancing quantum technologies:
    • Establish a Quantum experts Working Group comprising members from the Republic of Korea and the European Union.
    • Advance cooperation in standardisation and research topics like quantum computing, quantum sensing, and quantum communications.
  4. Defining a common vision for 6G:
    • Aim at a common approach to 6G standardisation.
    • Target research cooperation in Radio Access Networks (RAN) and integrated device-network approaches for demonstrating 6G functional properties.
  5. Harmonising online & digital platforms:
    • Create a platform ecosystem that balances innovation, safety, and fairness.
    • Cooperate in implementing respective frameworks like the EU platform legislation and the ‘Self-Regulation for Platforms’ in Korea.
  6. Promoting trustworthy AI:
    • Establish a permanent communication channel to update each side on legislative and non-legislative frameworks for trustworthy AI.
    • Foster collaboration on technology developments, foundational models, generative AI, and advance collaborative approaches in international AI standards bodies.
  7. Strengthening cybersecurity cooperation:
    • Enhance information sharing on cybersecurity threats.
    • Expand information sharing on cybersecurity policy and explore ways to cooperate.
  8. Future collaboration and review:
    • Exchange information on the semiconductor supply chain.
    • Expand cooperation in secure digital connectivity infrastructure, digital skills, capacity-building, and exchange of best practices on digital start-ups.