The establishment of Institut Pasteur Korea (IP-K) has been an intercultural experiment, which transplanted a French research organization with many foreign researchers into Korea to grow a new institution as a long-term collaboration. The Mission of the newly founded institute has been to develop more effective ways of generating value with basic life science research in the face of a world-wide Pharma crisis. The challenges
have been i.) to invent new technologies and approaches in drug discovery, ii.) to convince the Korean stakeholders of their inherent value, iii.) to induce Pharma industry to adopt the new technologies and iv.) to create a context in the Korean R&D landscape where the new institute could contribute tangible benefits. If Institut Pasteur Korea has succeeded in all counts, then due to a somewhat skewed and unlikely set of cultural complementarities between Korea and France. The abstract and conceptual French approach was matched by Korean pragmatism, linearity and relentless improvement towards the defined development goal. IP-K has become an example for innovation made in Korea, which is now re-imported into Europe. As the project could arguably not have succeeded in either partner county alone, it highlights the benefits of long-term, in depth international collaborations.