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Institutions for Knowledge Intensive Development: Economic and Regulatory Aspects in South-East Asian Transition Economies

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IKID (Institutions for Knowledge Intensive Development: Economic and Regulatory Aspects in South-East Asian Transition Economies)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2021-12-31

The prioritisation and deployment of knowledge within an economy remains a key success factor for long-term economic development, increased productivity and socio-economic sustainability. The achievement of knowledge driven growth is particularly challenging for emerging market economies that are still seeking to catch up to the frontier knowledge economies. The project helped to shed light on a variety of causes and consequences of the differences in the evolution of knowledge intensity of economies, with particular focus on transition countries in South-East Asia. We identified some key micro and macro level institutional incentives for development towards a knowledge economy, and stimuli for capital allocation into knowledge-based investments. Moreover, we studied and outlined some key channels for efficient regulation that might contribute to knowledge intensification in a transition/emerging economy. The project made use of frontier empirical research methods and the conceptual underpinnings of the project are at the intersection of industrial organisation theories, new institutional economics, development economics, and modern concepts in regulatory efficiency and justice. The project aimed at developing lasting excellence oriented cooperation with South-East Asian universities, and contribute to R&D capacity building based on European academic values. Promoting of the project results through intersectoral knowledge transfer was an important task. We aim to contribute to social innovation through the policy related suggestions provided, and to a paradigm shift regarding the role of institutions in transition processes. The project was a joint effort of Swiss and Estonian universities’ economics and law researchers with transition studies experience from Eastern Europe, and their fellow researchers from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia with thorough insight into the institutional context in their societies.
The 5-year project “Institutions for Knowledge Intensive Development: Economic and Regulatory Aspects in South-East Asian Transition Economies” (IKID), led by Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) in collaboration with the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and in cooperation with South-East Asian partners from the National University of Laos (NUOL), Ho Chi Minh City University of Law (HCMCUL) and Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), was successful in terms of both staff exchanges and research results. Total 60 researchers have been on a staff exchange to a partner university and total 283 months of staff exchanges were completed – despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 97% of the secondments anticipated in the project plan were implemented. All the partner universities have contributed actively to the staff exchanges, research, networking and capacity building activities. The staff exchanges have provided good opportunities for the researchers from the South-East Asian partner universities to work together with researchers from the European host universities under the different work packages of the project with the aim to identify some key micro and macro level institutional incentives for development towards a knowledge economy, and stimuli for capital allocation into knowledge-based investments. Moreover, we have studied and outlined some key channels for efficient regulation that might contribute to knowledge intensification at different levels of an economy.
The project investigated the institutional determinants and success factors of development into knowledge intensive economies, with special attention on the economic and regulatory environment in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. The project builds on new institutional economics, development economics, industrial organisation and modern concepts in regulatory efficiency and justice in combination with frontier empirical research methods in investigating micro and macro level stimuli, institutional factors and regulatory efficiency. The project contributes to the knowledge exchange and cooperation between Europe and South-East Asian emerging economies.

The project comprises six Work Packages managed by TalTech and UNIL researchers:
1) Institutional factors behind the knowledge intensity gap between frontier knowledge economies and transition economies,
2) Regulation and incentives supporting development towards a knowledge economy,
3) Efficiency in the financial sector and financing of R&D investments and innovation in changing regulatory and economic environment,
4) Regulatory aspects, transfer of knowledge and ICT-enabled solutions,
5) Training in core academic competencies in economics, law and empirical research,
6) Knowledge transfer workshops.

The project aims to develop lasting excellence oriented cooperation with South-East Asian universities, and contribute to R&D capacity building based on European academic values. Promoting of the project results through intersectoral knowledge transfer was an important task. We aim to contribute to social innovation through the policy related suggestions provided, and to a paradigm shift regarding the role of institutions in transition processes.
Workshop on regulatory issues in South-East Asia led by Prof Tanel Kerikmäe (TalTech)
Lecture at RULE on Institutions for Economic Development by Prof Aaro Hazak (TalTech)
Meeting at NUOL with Prof Andreas Ziegler (UNIL)
Workshop on academic publishing by Prof Ali Kutan as part of the June 2017 summer courses in Estonia
Workshop on research management at HCMCUL led by Prof Aaro Hazak (TalTech)
June 2017 Conference in Tallinn, keynote by Prof Josef C. Brada (Arizona State University)
Project IKID Midterm Meeting in Tallinn, June 2018