RealTime IT News

W3C Launches Korean Office

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), an organization devoted to promoting interoperability in all facets of the Internet, Friday bumped up its international expansion when it launched an office in Korea.

Based at the Protocol Engineering Center (PEC) of the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in Daejeon, Korea, the new location joins the ranks of international sites for the standard-setting group. W3C currently has offices in Australia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Korea, Morocco, The Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K.

While Japan and China are largely perceived to be technological hotspots, Korea's IT growth has been strong over the last few years. The W3C said Korea has one of the fastest growing economies in East Asia, with a premium placed on IT. The consortium said Korea's IT sector experienced phenomenal growth from 1990 to 2000, with IT contributing to 50 percent of the country's economic growth (GDP) this decade. That figure is up from the 4.5 percent that IT accounted for in 1990.

"With a strong history of early adoption of new technologies, Korea is a strong choice for the creation of a W3C Office, to encourage standards-based technology development," the W3C said in a public statement.

W3C said ETRI meets the criteria for W3C office selection because it is vendor neutral and has shared objectives for Web development. The institute is established, with an annual budget of $4 million and some 1,900 researchers on staff.

While ETRI covers various Internet research areas, the W3C said part of what makes it a good candidate is the fact that it employs a number of W3C technologies, including XML, XML Query and CC/PP.

Dr. Kishik Park of ETRI will manage W3C office in Korea, with Dr. Kangchan Lee serving as office coordinator.

W3C Chief Operating Officer Dr. Steven R. Bratt, Dr. Seungtaik Yang, representing the Korean Ministry of Information and Communication, and ETRI President Dr. Gilrok Oh presided over the opening ceremonies at the Lotte Hotel Friday. The commencement also included overviews of what the W3C is about, as well as XML-related recommendations.