Sequester Day 1: U.S. Spent $70,717 to Send 20 'to Discuss' Manufacturing in Korea

April 5, 2013 - 4:38 PM


South Korea

Workers at a South Korean garment factory. (AP Photo/Jean H. Lee)

( – The National Science Foundation awarded $70,717.00 to pay for 20 researchers to attend a two-day manufacturing workshop in Seoul, South Korea in March. The award went into effect on March 1, 2013, officially the first day of across-the-board spending cuts, the sequestration.


“This award will fund a United States delegation of about 20 experts to attend a workshop in Seoul, Republic of Korea (ROK), to discuss advanced manufacturing with a similar number of researchers from the ROK,” the grant abstract states.

The workshop, held last month, was designed “to identify research topics of mutual interest to academic researchers supported by National Science Foundation domestically, and by the Korean National Research Foundation in Korea,” the abstract states.

“The workshop discussions will focus in four topical areas: industrial robotics, manufacturing mathematics, materials processing and sub-micron and nano-manufacturing,” the abstract states.

Participants will also tour manufacturing research facilities in Seoul. The trip and workshop will “promote international collaboration in academic research,” according to the abstract.

The abstract states the grant “start date” as March 1, 2013 and that it “expires” Feb. 28, 2014 (estimated).

“The workshop will be preceeded by two days of tours of important Korean manufacturing research facilities to give the United Stated delegation a better understanding of the areas of expertise and research facilities available in Korea,” reads the abstract. “The workshop itself will also be two days in duration. The result of the workshop will be a report detailing areas for beneficial collaboration between Korea and the United States with the expectation that it will be followed up with proposals for research in these areas.”

The National Science Foundation is “an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 ‘to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; to secure the national defense,” according to its Web site.

The agency, which has an annual budget of around $7 billion (as of FY 2012), funds “approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.”

The sequester budget cuts went into effect on Mar. 1 and will equal $44 billion in 2013, or about 1.2 percent of the entire federal budget.