Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S.-Korea Agree to Cooperate on Technical Issues to Improve International Trade

A memorandum of understanding on technical cooperation was signed today by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science to help remove non-tariff trade barriers between the United States and the Republic of Korea.

The MOU in the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering measurement sciences was signed by Arati Prabhakar, NIST director, and Myung Sai Chung, president of KRISS.

The memorandum provides a framework for the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge services and the augmentation of scientific and technical capabilities of the parties with respect to agreed upon scientific fields.

The types of cooperative activities under the memorandum may consist of exchanges of technical information, reference data and materials, calibrations, and standards; exchange visits; cooperative research in disciplines of mutual interest within the scope of programs of the parties; and other forms of cooperative activities as mutually agreed upon by NIST and KRISS.

The MOU renews a previous agreement between NIST and the former Korea Standards Research Institute. KSRI was established in 1975 as the central authority of the Korean national standards system. KSRI was reorganized in 1991 by incorporating the Korea Basic Sciences Center and the Institute of Space Science and Astronomy.

KRISS is located in Taedok Science Town and has approximately 500 staff members. Its main functions are to maintain, improve and disseminate the Korean national measurement standards, to conduct research and development on precision measurement technology, and to provide technical support to industry.

Scientists at KRISS participate in international standards activities such as the International Organization for Standardization in Geneva. The Korean institute has memorandums of cooperation with many of the national metrology laboratories in the world's leading industrial countries.

The MOU with KRISS is similar to other agreements in measurement science that NIST has with Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador and Venezuela as well as other agreements with nations of the Americas to improve international trade.

The Commerce Department has identified the Republic of Korea in a category of countries that are called the "Big Emerging Markets." The other BEM countries that hold promise for large incremental gains in U.S. exports include China, Indonesia, India, Turkey, South Africa, Poland, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

As a non-regulatory agency of the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, NIST promotes U.S. economic growth by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.

Released September 12, 1994, Updated November 27, 2017