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SEA-EU-NET II Report Summary

Project ID: 311784
Funded under: FP7-INCO
Country: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - SEA-EU-NET II (SEA-EU-NET 2 - EU-ASEAN S&T cooperation to jointly tackle societal challenges)

Project Context and Objectives:
“SEA-EU-NET II” is the second project that has been set up to expand scientific collaboration between Europe and Southeast Asia (SEA) in a more strategic and coherent manner and continues and intensifies the efforts started in “SEA-EU-NET” as well as tackles new challenges and aims. The project was launched in October 2012 and involves 20 institutions from the two regions. The SEA-EU-NET project increases the quality, quantity, profile and impact of bi-regional Science and Technology (S&T) cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe. The project supports the internationalisation policy of the EU, the specific objectives of FP7 but also contributes to building the S&T as well as Innovative foundation essential to the EU achieving its political, economic and social objectives. The project has and continues to deliver a wide range of measures to increase SEA-EU cooperation amongst academic, industrial and government stakeholders. The original SEA-EU-NET project from 2008-2012 has achieved considerable impact the fields of policy dialogue, awareness raising on the EU’s FP7 in Southeast Asia, analysing the EU-SEA S&T relations amongst others. SEA-EU-NET II currently tries to increase these impacts by deepening collaboration and focusing on newly identified areas by:

• continuing and intensifying the bi-regional dialogue between EU and ASEAN S&T policy makers on Senior Officials level
• creating an annual exchange forum for researchers, innovation stakeholders, policy makers and private business to improve EU-SEA cooperation and exchange with the ASEAN-EU Science, Technology and Innovation Days
• jointly tackling societal challenges in the fields of Health, Food Security and Safety, Metrology as well as Water Management with relevance to both regions by organising events, providing fellowships for SEA researchers and conducting studies on future collaboration potentials
• informing the Southeast Asian research community on the Horizon 2020 programme as well as increasing the level of Southeast Asian participation in Horizon 2020
• completing detailed analytical work on the current state of EU-SEA S&T relations and innovation potentials and developing recommendations on how to strengthen the relationship and feeding these into the official dialogue process
• extending the dialogue on EU-SEA S&T cooperation to include a wide range of stakeholders by connecting to already existing networks and dialogues
• linking the project outcomes to other existing FP7-projects working with partners in Southeast Asia

Project Results:
Main results and activities in the second reporting period
SEA-EU-NET II project has continued its efforts based on the achievements of its predecessor project and carried out the following tasks to enhance S&T collaboration between Europe and Southeast Asia in the second 18 months:
• ASEAN-EU Science, Technology and Innovation Days 2015 (STI Days 2015 –; The STI Days 2015, organized by SEA-EU-NET, were initiated as a bi-regional forum for exchange in the areas of science, technology and innovation. The third edition of the event took place in March 2015 in Paris, France with kind support from the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS)and welcomed 275 participants from both regions. This year’s event focused on presenting ASEAN research excellence to European stakeholders and raising awareness on S&T developments taking place in the ASEAN region. With more than 24 exhibitions, and 16 dynamic sessions the event shared research findings within the thematic areas of Environment, Food safety and security and Health. The event also recognized the work of upcoming, outstanding young researchers through a poster session and award for best poster.
• Creating a bi-regional funding scheme: In 2015, SEA-EU-NET successfully launched a call for mobility projects (“Southeast Asia-Europe Pilot Joint Call for Mobility in the thematic areas of Environment, Health and Food research” In total, 11 funding agencies along with the SEA-EU-NET project joined together to fund mobility projects based on the “common pot” funding concept.
In total, 20 applications were received by the deadline of 21 September 2015. All projects submitted were consortia comprised of 2 partners from Europe and 2 from Southeast Asia (a format utilized to ensure a continued strengthening of collaborative scientific interactions between the two regions). Following an initial eligibility check by the call secretariat, 18 projects were then evaluated online by a selected group of expert evaluators. The projects are envisioned to begin on 2 February 2016 and run for a period of 1 year. The projects represent a wide range of topics, and include participation of all countries involved in the funding scheme.
• Spotlight on Stimulating Innovation in Southeast Asia: This report, written by the analysis team (WP4—ZSI; ZSI GmbH) of the SEA-EU-NET II project, is the result of the outcome of a fact-finding mission, desk research, and information gathered during ASEAN-level events. Its focus is on the policy and program side of ST&I activities within Southeast Asian countries, in particular how both public and private actors in the region support innovation. At the heart of the report is an analysis (based on comparison) of economic trade and foreign direct investment, as well as the number of publications and patents in region, and specific challenges faced. This analysis is then followed by country-specific analyses of the same factors. In total, six countries are reviewed (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). These six countries were chosen based on either their involvement in the SEA-EU-NET II project, or based on their economic and scientific influence.
• Sharing information and networking opportunities;SEA-EU-NET maintains and updates its two homepages ( / permanently, shares information via Facebook and Twitter and enables you to link with other colleagues via its Research Gate page. All scientific workshops will be streamed live in this community and moderated, to ensure a maximal impact of these webinars.

Potential Impact:
SEA-EU-NET 2 builds upon lessons learnt, analysis undertaken and positive feedback received in SEA-EU-NET 1 to develop new mechanisms to strengthen and deepen the collaboration between Southeast Asia and Europe, such as facilitating funding for research, and developing a platform for a greater range of stakeholders to participate in the Europe-Southeast Asia policy dialogue, networking and collaboration facilitation . SEA-EU-NET 2 additionally builds upon other existing and past initiatives between EU and ASEAN. SEA-EU-NET 2 will both optimise established instruments and, at the same time, developing new strategies and tools to add value.

One of the most significant objectives of SEA-EU-NET 2 is the promotion of and expansion of the European Research Area (ERA) to Southeast Asia to enable researchers, research institutions and industry to seamlessly integrate, circulate and collaborate. SEA-EU-NET 2 will strengthen the coordination between policy instruments and will help define relevant research priorities for both the European Commission and ASEAN by providing a survey of significant bi-lateral research programmes and identifying the added value of multi-lateral/regional initiatives. All activities within FP7, and Horizon 2020, will be promoted to the full breadth of stakeholders. SEA-EU-NET 2 will facilitate and support researchers to find suitable partners for future projects.

Expanding upon earlier initiatives SEA-EU-NET 2 reaches out to, engage, and build sustainable relationships with communities such as the general public, students, institutions, and industry, to ensure maximum engagement in the project, awareness of the benefits of science, technology and research, as well as ensure project outcomes are sustainable beyond the life of the project. SEA-EU-NET 2 will ensure there is regular engagement with these groups.

The development of SEA-EU-NET 2 as a platform opens up the established networks and programmes to actors from all EU-MS/AC, which leads to a better understanding of European procedures on collaborative programmes with the ASEAN-countries. This will develop an integrated but diversified range of collaboration between ASEAN and EU, as well as better coordination of the bilateral cooperation. To create a seamless web of actors at a bi-regional level, SEA-EU-NET 2 will provide continuously updated in-depth information on programmes between Europe and ASEAN, how they are organised and supported, results delivered, and the impact of collaborations.

The project works on joint initiatives, based on and linked to existing processes like SFIC, JPI, ERANETs and others. To maximise opportunities and minimise in the development of new funding opportunities, the project took a multifaceted approach to identify funding opportunities and coordinate activities of EUMS/AC and ASEAN-MS. SEA-EU-NET 2 developed a joint funding scheme that hopefully will be implemented soon and have lasting impact on the bi-regional S&T cooperation.

The successful establishment of a network of NCPs in Southeast Asia undertaken by SEA-EU-NET 1, is reinforced and broadened within SEA-EU-NET 2. The NCP-network is supposed to cover all 10 SEA countries, embracing thematic areas closely connected to the European NCP´s, for example, by the link to INCONTACT-project ( The NCP´s provide advice and support to researchers to participate in FP-programmes, as well as other EU-programmes, existing bilateral programmes and other available funding opportunities. In Europe a new NIP-network for ASEAN will be established as an information source for European researchers about the ASEAN research landscape (based on the participants of the new SEA-EU-NET).

The project focuses on the societal challenges, health, food security and safety and water management, which are particularly relevant for EU and ASEAN collaboration, and address specific needs, as well as key strengths of the EU and ASEAN.
SEA-EU-NET 2 provides support to the ongoing policy dialogue between the EU and ASEAN. SEA-EU-NET therefor provides secretarial support to structured dialogues such as the EU-ASEAN-COST dialogue, and has allocated 15% of the budget to do so. SEA-EU-NET 2 support will include stock taking and input to dialogue at other policy levels like SFIC, ASEAN-COST and other EC instruments (DG DevCo) and MS&AC cooperation. SEA-EU-NET 2 has become the main point of contact for coherent and strategic EU-ASEAN research activities, and thus facilitate ASEAN’s participation in the European Framework programme.

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