23 February 2010 - A branch laboratory of a leading U.S. -based information technology (IT) center has opened in the free economic region of Incheon, South Korea, paving the way for enhanced global cooperation in the field, the government said Tuesday.

The Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) run by the State University of New York- Stony Brook will be located in the Incheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ), 40 km west of Seoul, with 30 researchers, boosting international development in the wireless, communication, and IT convergence industries, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.

"We look forward to further enhancing our IT research and development projects through the opening of CEWIT-Korea," the ministry said in a statement.

CEWIT is one of the leaders in the IT convergence and wireless research laboratories in the United States, as it has worked on joint IT research and development projects with more than 530 global enterprises including Motorola, Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, the ministry added.

In addition, the U.S. government has recently agreed to make an investment worth 12.5 million U.S. dollars to CEWIT to develop projects focused on "smart energy" sources that are aimed at increasing power efficiency, certifying the research centers' renowned ability in the field, according to the statement.

The IFEZ is one of the six free economic zones in South Korea that has been aggressively pushing for more foreign schools and laboratories with the goal of creating a global hub for logistics, international business, and tourism.

Branch schools of the University of Southern California, State University of New York-Stony Brook, State University of North Carolina, Delaware State University, and George Mason University are scheduled to open in Incheon, with on-going discussions with other top schools from the United States and Europe currently under way, the ministry added.