Today, it is widely recognised that scientific research and technological development are and have to be increasingly international and cooperative in order ot tackle our major global and societal challenges as well as to ensure sustainable economic development. ASEAN and the EU have not only recognised this importance of science, technology and innovation individually, but also agree on the relevance of cooperation between the two regions in these areas.
The READI Science and Technology (S&T) component is recognising this and supports the policy dialogue and related pilot initiatives working for increased S&T cooperation both within ASEAN as well as between ASEAN and the EU.
At the policy level, from an EU perspective, the 2003 Communication of the European Commission on A New Partnership with South East Asia is the basis for recent endeavours in joint S&T policy making and cooperation. Within one of its six core elements, the Communication identifies S&T as one of the sectors where cooperation and dialogue could and should be intensified. This proposal is implemented both in Europe's external relations (parts of the Regional Cooperation with Asia external relations instrument 2007-2013 focus on S&T) as well as research policy (in the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, the European Commission tries to facilitate S&T cooperation and policy dialogue with dedicated international cooperation projects).
One the ASEAN side, within the larger framework of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint (2009-2015), it is the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST) where international collaboration in general and with Europe in particular is highlighted as relevant. In the APAST 2007-2011, recently extended towards 2015, an expanded S&T cooperation with the international community“ is specified as one of five objectives of the Action Plan. ASEAN countries regard international cooperation in S&T as a crucial policy device for achieving sustainable economic growth and tackling global challenges such as climate change and the cross-border spread of infectious diseases. In this regard, the EU has been considered an important regional partner in STI cooperation.
Concrete bi-regional policy dialogue on S&T has started within the S&T Sub-Committee of the ASEAN-European Commission Joint Cooperation Committee, which was established as early as 1980. However, bi-regional S&T policy dialogue picked up pace after the Nuremberg Declaration on an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership in 2007. Following the Nuremberg Declaration and a related Plan of Action, at the ASEAN-EU Informal Ministerial Meeting on S&T held in Manila in July 2008 it was agreed to launch a dialogue on S&T at the senior official level between the ASEAN Committee on S&T and the EU. In May 2009 in Bali, the dialogue was formalised in the form of the ASEAN-EU (Senior Officials) Dialogue Meetings on Science and Technology, taking place annually around May back-to-back to the ASEAN COST meetings.
For more details, please refer to the website of the European Commission Directorate General for Research & Innovation's website dedicated to international cooperation as well as to the ASEAN website.
The Terms of Reference of the READI S&T component have been discussed and agreed upon during these Dialogue Meetings. In close cooperation with the EU Delegation in Jakarta, the main stakeholders for the READI S&T component are: the ASEAN Secretariat (reporting to ASEAN COST) and the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation.
READI support in the field of Science and Technology in the first year focused on the ASEAN-EU Year of Science, Technology and Innovation 2012, a one year initiative to highlight and deepen existing science and technology cooperation between ASEAN and the EU.
READI has designed and implemented four activities in different ASEAN countries and the EU within the Year of Science: A visit of ASEAN science journalists to Singapore to raise awareness among media with involvement of the European Commissioner for Research & Innovation; support to the ‘Triple Helix Conference’ in Indonesia with an event on how S&T cooperation can support national innovation systems in emerging economies; support to the ‘International Techmart Fair and Conference’ in Vietnam; and a science policy visit of representatives of the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology to Europe on the occasion of the closing event of the Year of Science, Technology and Innovation 2012. For more information on the Year of Science, Technology and Innovation 2012, please visit www.yearofscience2012.com.
From 2013 onwards, READI will support the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action in S&T 2007-2015 (APAST) and the detailed elaboration of the ‘Krabi Initiative’ in line with the APAST, most notably with the setup of Pilot Networks of Excellence in food security and green technology research. Through its dissemination activities, READI will further support the visibility of science, technology and innovation in ASEAN in line with the STI Enculturation paradigm shift defined in the Krabi initiative ("Science, Technology and Innovation for a Competitive, Sustainable and Inclusive ASEAN“).
In close coordination with related activities in the EU's research and innovation framework programme (FP7 and its successor, Horizon 2020), like www.sea-eu.net, READI will continue to facilitate ASEAN integration as well as ASEAN-EU cooperation in the area of S&T.
Outputs to date:
READI is implemented on behalf of the EU and ASEAN by a consortium of firms led by Altair Asesores.
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Altair Asesores Consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.