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Facilitating the Bi-Regional EU-ASEAN Science and Technology Dialog

Periodic Report Summary 3 - SEA-EU-NET (Facilitating the bi-regional EU-ASEAN science and technology dialogue)

Project context and objectives:

The SEA-EU-NET project has been set up to expand scientific collaboration between Europe and Southeast Asia (SEA) in a more strategic and coherent manner. The project was launched in January 2008 and involves 21 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 SEA and Europe. The project supports the internationalisation policy of the European Union (EU), the specific objectives of Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) but also contributes to building the S&T foundation essential to the EU achieving its political, economic and social objectives. The SEA-EU-NET project has and continues to deliver a wide range of measures to increase SEA-EU cooperation amongst academic, industrial and government stakeholders.

Main results and activities in 2012

The SEA-EU-NET project has consolidated and focused its efforts during the fifth year and has been engaged in a number of activities to enhance S&T collaboration between Europe and SEA. Some key outcomes have been:

- Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)-EU-Year of Science Technology and Innovation 2012 (YoSTI2012) (see http://www.yearofscience2012.com online for further details):
YoSTI2012, which has been initiated by the SEA-EU-NET, has been a year-long campaign to deepen S&T collaboration between Europe and SEA. The aim of the YoSTI 2012 was to highlight, promote and extend the reach of scientific cooperation between the EU and ASEAN. It was a year-long effort to stimulate interest in, and appreciation of, the processes of science and its benefits to society. By focusing on topics of strategic importance to both regions, as well as being of global relevance, the year gave greater impact and higher visibility of S&T cooperation between ASEAN and Europe. This bi-regional YoSTI was officially launched in November 2011 in Hanoi and the official closing event took place on 11 December 2012 in Brussels, Belgium. It was the first of its kind and will be an important step to building a long-term strategic partnership between ASEAN and Europe.

- Creating scientific contacts:
Within the framework of the YoSTI2012 the project has supported and organised a series of scientific workshops to foster and create scientific contacts between researchers from the two regions. These have been in the area of social sciences, biomass research, environmental science, infectious diseases, e-health, sustainable urban development. These scientific workshops served as expert meetings to identify topics of mutual for bi-regional S&T cooperation and are used as matchmaking opportunities to form consortia to bid into FP7 calls.

- Establishment of FP7 contact points:
As a centrepiece to raise the awareness for FP7 in SEA the project has been actively assisting countries in setting up FP7 contact points. Most of the ASEAN member countries are currently establishing those information points and have started FP7 dissemination and counselling activities. There is a very strong demand among researchers in SEA countries for targeted information on FP7.

- Analysis and information gathering:
This activity focused on the identification of opportunities and pitfalls for S&T cooperation between SEA. This analysis is necessary to develop evidence-based recommendations for future intensified cooperation between the two regions. The project has consolidated all its analytical work in a book 'Spotlight on: Science and technology cooperation between Southeast Asia and Europe' (see http://www.seaeu.net/object/document/2731.html online for further details).

Project results:

The SEA-EU-NET project has been set up to expand scientific collaboration between Europe and SEA in a more strategic and coherent manner. The project was launched in January 2008 and involves 21 institutions from the two regions. The SEA-EU-NET project increases the quality, quantity, profile and impact of bi-regional S&T cooperation between SEA and Europe. The project supports the internationalisation policy of the EU, the specific objectives of FP7 but also contributes to building the S&T foundation essential to the EU achieving its political, economic and social objectives. The SEA-EU-NET project has and continues to deliver a wide range of measures to increase SEA-EU cooperation amongst academic, industrial and government stakeholders. The SEA-EU-NET project has achieved considerable impact in the following areas:

- establishing a bi-regional dialogue between EU and ASEAN S&T policy makers at the senior officials level;
- raising the profile of FP7 amongst the Southeast Asian research community as well as increasing the level of Southeast Asian participation in the FP7 programme;
- completing detailed analytical work on the current state of EU-SEA S&T relations, 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;
- linking the project outcomes to other existing and upcoming European Research Area (ERA), International Cooperation Network (INCO-NET), and thematic EU-FP projects thus also facilitating the development of a coherent European-level approach towards international S&T cooperation.

Potential impact:

- Strengthen bi-regional and bi-lateral dialogues in scientific cooperation:
Facilitate a bi-regional dialogue involving stakeholders from policy making, science community and industries. The dialogue will address each other's S&T potentials, policy goals and demands in order to define common priorities and to develop respective joint scenarios and implementation strategies for strengthening the S&T cooperation.
Networking of key S&T policy-makers and programme owners involved in promoting S&T cooperation between the two regions in order to provide a solid basis for the long-term establishment of a multi-lateral EU-SEA platform for joint S&T priority-setting and policy coordination.

- Report to the European Commission (EC) and to EU presidencies in order to incorporate recent political developments and to generally highlight EU-ASEAN initiatives within the political decision process.

- Network different stakeholders (such as universities, industry, government, civil society and donors) in order to strengthen research capacity:
Identify key-players in national research systems and analyse S&T cooperation between the two regions by conducting a strategic mapping exercise and analysing bi-lateral EU-SEA relations. The strategic mapping will facilitate information exchange and highlight opportunities for future coordination.
Support the coherence and coordination of S&T cooperation activities with other EU policies towards SEA with emphasis on the neighbourhood policy (external relations) and exploiting the full potential of combining different instruments of relevance to S&T cooperation.

- Assist in the joint identification of topics for collaboration under FP7 thematic programmes

- Strengthen the participation of EU-SEA-collaboration in the FP7 with emphasis on the 'Cooperation' and 'Peoples' part of the programme (WP3). To assist in joint identification of topics for collaboration under FP7 thematic programmes (WP3)

- Facilitate the development and implementation of a coherent European-level approach towards international S&T cooperation

- Implement fora for active and constant exchange of information and views on a regional basis providing a knowledge base for the bi-regional / bi-lateral dialogue and to support priority setting and scenario development

- Develop joint scenarios and setting up S&T related implementation activities addressed to the challenges of the globalisation of research and reaching the global millennium goals

- Provide EU and ASEAN S&T policy-makers with strategic policy recommendations on future research cooperation between these two regions.

Project website: http://www.sea-eu.net