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AmorePacific chairman to donate W300b for science foundation

[THE INVESTOR] AmorePacific Group Chairman Suh Kyung-bae on Sept.1 confirmed that he would donate 300 billion won (US$267.90 million) of his personal assets to the Seo Kyung-bae Science Foundation.

“I hope this foundation can contribute to discovering high caliber researchers who will be able to pioneer new areas of research and constantly put forward new ideas to eventually become globally competitive, and in turn contribute to Korea’s national competitiveness and the overall quality of human race,” Seo said at a press conference. 


AmorePacific Chairman Suh Kyung-bae speaks at a news conference in Seoul on Thursday. The Investor / Lee Sang-sub
AmorePacific Chairman Suh Kyung-bae speaks at a news conference in Seoul on Thursday. The Investor / Lee Sang-sub


The Seo Kyung-bae Foundation held an inaugural meeting on July 11, and received official approval from the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in August. The main aim will be support up-and-coming scientists and researchers. Seo is also the foundation’s board chairman

“In the late 1990s, we were able to overcome a business crisis with the development of the Iope brand, which was created through the application of science. Having seen what science can do, it has been my wish to do something to nurture it,” Seo said.

The foundation will publicly recruit three to five researchers and scientists every year, and provide a maximum 2.5 billion won to finance their research per project up to five years. Funding may be extended based on interim assessments.

The first applications will be received from January through February 2017. The finalists will be selected in June.

AmorePacific currently runs other nonprofit foundations such as the AmorePacific Foundation that funds cultural and academic business projects, and the AmorePacific Welfare Foundation. But this is the first foundation to receive a personal donation from the chairman. Seo will be selling off his AmorePacific Stocks to make the donation.

The chairman of Korea’s largest cosmetics firm is currently ranked as the second-wealthiest South Korean in terms of stock assets, following Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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