Zoe’s Letters From Korea #2

PIcture of sandcastle with Korean flag sticking out of it

TMR’s Zoe E is currently in Korea working for Trade and Investment Queensland as part of an engineering work exchange. Zoe will tell her Seoul stories as part of an ongoing series, Letters From Korea. You can check out Zoe’s first letter on our blog.

I can’t believe I’ve been in Seoul for a month already – and what a busy month it has been!

In the second week of my trip, Mum came to visit and we celebrated Chuseok together by being real tourists. We visited so many places: Gyeongbokgung Palace, Itaewon, Dongdaemun Market, Namsam Tower and stayed in a temple on Mt Bukhansan, just to name a few!

We also visited the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea which I found very interesting but also a little sad – let’s hope South Korea’s optimism about unification comes to fruition. Also this is the only place in the world where you can buy North Korean wine – of course I had to buy some!

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After Mum’s visit, I was back to work again, attending the Smart Cities Innovation Summit, which is about bringing cities, leaders and smart technology service providers together to discuss innovation and Smart City technology. The summit encourages and embraces collaboration so cities from around the globe can learn from each other and establish innovative solutions and best practices.

What is a Smart City? A Smart City uses an integrated approach and advanced technology (utilising the Internet of Things and Big Data) to connect the different sectors of a city, including energy networks, transport, security and the environment.

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A Smart City is a connected city that uses this technology to improve the quality of life of its people, making the city accessible, easy and efficient for everyone. Korea seem to be leading the way when it comes to Smart Cities but are also willing to share and learn from other countries around the world. I made a number of key contacts from this summit who I will meet with during my stay here in Korea to hopefully discuss potential areas of collaboration.

Following on from the summit, I attended a number of sessions during Foreign Investment Week which highlighted Korea’s keen interest in not only attracting foreign investment but also their efforts in continuously making it easier for international businesses to work with them to produce innovative results.

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I was also able to tour Gyeonggido’s (State Government equivalent) Transportation Information Centre and got an overview of their public transport system.

The Transportation Information Centre platform collects information (transport, security, environment, etc) through sensors and CCTV cameras, and streams this information in real-time to a number of different agencies such as other government departments, local councils and the police. This approach allows them to work collaboratively with internal and external agencies, but more importantly allows communication to be distributed in real-time to the community as required.

Through Trade and Investment Queensland, I have already been able to connect with a number of Korean agencies and have a number of meetings scheduled in the next few weeks, including checking out their self-driving cars – stay tuned.