30 million in prize money for whoever has the ‘greatest question’ in Korea

Posted on : 2015-06-11 15:32 KST Modified on : 2019-10-19 20:29 KST
Contest in open to all South Koreans, seeing who can come up with a question to spur a great development

“Why can’t we see photographs as soon as we take them?” This question by physicist Edwin Land’s daughter inspired him to develop the Polaroid instant camera.

“Why can’t we generate a small amount of electricity ourselves whenever we need it?” This question occurred to Park Hye-rin, president of Enomad, after experiencing a number of power outages during a trip to India. After three years of research, Park created a miniature turbine that can generate power wherever there is flowing water.

A nationwide contest is being organized in South Korea that turns simple questions such as these into challenges that can prompt a wide variety of research.

During an explanatory session held at COEX Convention Center in Seoul on June 10, the X-Project Committee, which is composed of private sector experts, announced plans to hold a “great question,” or “X question,” contest open to all South Koreans through August of this year.

The X-Project Committee is an organization that was launched last year when the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning promoted the X Project, which supports creative research and out-of-the-box thinking.

Individuals who would like to participate can input their questions at the official website, http://xproject.kr. The X-Project Committee is planning to narrow down the submitted questions to the 100 best research projects, which it will announce on Sep. 1, and then select individuals and teams to initiate research projects designed to answer these questions.

A total of 30 million won in prize money is available in the context, including a prize of 5 million won (Science Minister’s Prize) for the participant who poses the greatest question of all.


By Lim Ji-seon, staff reporter


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