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NEWS17 Mar 2023NEWS

EU, ASEAN advance development of ASEAN Technology Management Hub

TMH group shot

SIEM REAP, 17 March 2023 – Two EU-ASEAN workshops brought together stakeholders from academia, start-ups and innovators, the private sector and technology transfer offices from all ASEAN Member States to jointly develop and design the concept for the ASEAN Technology Management Hub (TMH). 

The TMH project intends to develop a comprehensive online platform that will match commercially viable university research with an innovation-driven private sector to accelerate research, catalyse innovation, foster knowledge sharing and promote technology transfers in ASEAN. It will be the first of its kind at regional level in ASEAN.

The first workshop in Jakarta on 23 and 24 February was hosted by Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) and focused on identifying stakeholder priorities, securing their support, and designing the TMH platform. The workshop was organised with the support of the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI) in coordination with the European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), and the Science and Technology Division of the ASEAN Secretariat.

The second workshop was hosted by Cambodia’s Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology and Innovation (MISTI) in Siem Reap on 16 and 17 March. It developed recommendations from the first workshop, focusing on how the ASEAN TMH will be structured, implemented, and financed. The EU continued its dialogue with ASEAN during this second event and shared lessons that it learned from its own initiatives.

The EU and EU Member States have invested in building effective innovation ecosystems, technology management platforms, and digital innovation hubs, which are designed to support the scaling of companies, encourage innovation, and stimulate cooperation among national, regional, and local innovation actors including universities, public research agencies, governments, inventors, entrepreneurs and companies.

The European Union and E-READI are therefore supporting the development of the ASEAN TMH by facilitating the dialogue with some of these European initiatives including EURAXESS ASEAN, the Southeast-Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Research and Innovation, the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA), the Competence Centre on Technology Transfer set up by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, and the SAIRA platform. During the workshops, representatives from these entities shared lessons learnt in building innovation ecosystems covering both successes and failures.

At the opening of the second workshop, Thibaut Portevin, Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union to ASEAN, congratulated ASEAN on developing its regional TMH  and stated,  “the EU is pleased to be supporting this important initiative which will offer ASEAN universities, research organisations, private companies, and government agencies an opportunity to interact more effectively to maximise the social impact and commercial potential of their research and innovation efforts, and will contribute to the regional integration process.”

In her opening remarks, Zurina Moktar, Head of Science and Technology Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, mentioned, “the workshops gathered representatives from universities, technology transfer offices and the private sector from across ASEAN, who will be the backbone of the ASEAN TMH, a dynamic platform that would match commercially viable university research with an innovation-driven private sector. The workshop series is also a manifestation of pragmatic engagements in the field of STI, which will eventually strengthen ASEAN-EU scientific cooperation, moving forward.”

The Indonesia National Chair of the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI), Boediastoeti Ontowirjo, conveyed that this workshop was expected to produce the most feasible and reliable TMH concept. Thus, BRIN as the only government agency in Indonesia responsible for research and innovation, would continue to support the implementation and strategy of the ASEAN TMH

Seingheng Hul, Cambodia COSTI Chairperson, added in his remarks that “the ASEAN TMH initiative will not only drive the effort of scaling up innovations, but also bring together stakeholders from across the ASEAN region to effectively tackle regional, and ultimately, global challenges by utilising science, technology, and innovation. Hence, the EU-ASEAN Workshops are of paramount importance in setting the right foundations and direction for this initiative. Cambodia is committed to continue working with partners, contributors, and stakeholders to ensure the successful establishment and operation of the ASEAN TMH.”

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