BOSTON – (March 12, 2015) – Joslin Diabetes Center and Daegu-Gyeongbuk Free Economic Zone (DGFEZ) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) formalizing their mutual strong commitment to navigate avenues for potential partnership. 

This MOU was written after Joslin CEO John L. Brooks III and Joslin’s International team met with DGFEZ Commissioner Gunwoo Do this past December to discuss opportunities to collaborate, including information about the DGFEZ’s healthcare infrastructure and operating environment. 

The MoU signing is an important step towards establishing a partnership that will allow Joslin to potentially establish a physical presence in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk area, bringing Joslin’s mission of preventing, treating and curing diabetes to the region.

“The MOU is a critical step in demonstrating Joslin’s commitment to explore opportunities with DGFEZ to make an impact on diabetes prevention and treatment in the region,” said William C. Hsu, M.D., Vice President of International Programs at Joslin and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. “DGFEZ has a comprehensive plan to establish an ecosystem for world-class medical care. Joslin looks forward to a potential public-private partnership, including the opportunity to integrate technology with diabetes care in a country known for impressive advancements in communication technology.” 

There were an estimated 2.7 million cases of diabetes in the Republic of Korea in 2014. 

DGFEZ Commissioner Gunwoo Do expressed his strong commitment to working with Joslin in making the city of Daegu a central place for healthcare services on diabetes, clinical trials and diabetes research in Asia. “The MOU reflects the two organizations’ relationship founded on trust and mutual benefits to make the world free of diabetes, and the city of Daegu is ready to contribute to the valuable cause with the help of Joslin’s advanced research capability and authoritative expertise on diabetes,” said the Commissioner Do.

Joslin representatives and DGFEZ’s officials originally began discussions in December of 2013. Active discussions continued and the newly appointed DGFEZ commissioner, Gunwoo Do, flew to Boston to showcase DGFEZ’s continued, strong commitment to working with Joslin. Commissioner Gunwoo Do views the MOU as an important and valuable starting point to navigate ways to attract Joslin into the Daegu-Gyeongbuk area. DGFEZ plans to closely collaborate with the Daegu Metropolitan City government and the Ministry of Health and Welfare to provide full support to Joslin.