Intellectual property rights (IPR) are one of the major challenges in encouraging more inward investment and international collaboration in science and technology, says the UK's science minister, Lord Sainsbury.
He was speaking at the first high-technology forum between the UK and South Korea held in this country. He highlighted IPR and access to information as two of the main issues that were holding back collaboration.
"Confidence in the security of one's IPR is essential to any such relationship, and so both British and Korean organisations need to be clear about ownership and procedures for handling disagreements," he said. "The loss of confidence is likely to do considerable damage to UK/Korea relations in this area of collaboration if we are not careful."
This forum, the second overall, was held in Bristol and saw around 40 representatives of Korean companies talking with UK companies such as BAE Systems and Marconi on topics including nano-technology, photonics, bio-technology and environmental technology.
The Korean delegation included representatives from LG and Samsung, as well as government research institutes. It also included Ryu Chang-Moo, deputy minister for the Korean ministry of commerce, industry and energy.