ASEAN Regional Research Infrastructure (RRI) Strategy Drafting Workshop

AYUTTHAYA, 30 May 2024 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) identified significant opportunities to share research infrastructures among the ASEAN Member States and with the EU at the ASEAN Regional Research Infrastructure (RRI) Strategy Drafting Workshop on 28 and 29 May.                                                      

A regional approach to research infrastructure allows researchers to come together, to share knowledge and experience, and to jointly develop solutions that address some of the most important global challenges including climate change, energy security and pandemics.

‘I am very pleased to learn about the significant progress made towards an ASEAN RRI strategy with the support of the European Union. RIs play a key role in advancing knowledge and technology across ASEAN and globally. By sharing resources and knowledge, we can join forces to tackle the most pressing global challenges,’ said Dr Junpen Meka-apiruk, Inspector General, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI), Thailand.

‘Cultivating robust research infrastructures is already making great strides globally. The European Union is enthusiastic about the promising collaboration ahead, recognising that the sharing of research infrastructures, knowledge, and resources is among the best ways to advance the ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership and its impact,’ said Sujiro Seam, the EU Ambassador to ASEAN.

‘As we embark on this journey together, particularly in the upcomingpost-2025 ASEAN Plan of Actions in Science, Technology and Innovation, it is a pledge to build bridges that transcend geographical boundaries, connecting the intellectual resources and RRI of our regions, for the greater benefit of humanity,’ said Dr Vanny Narita, Senior Officer, Science and Technology Division, ASEAN Secretariat. During the workshop, experts, policy makers and researchers discussed the recommendations contained in the ASEAN Research Infrastructure Landscape Study, which was supported by the EU, as the basis for developing an ASEAN Regional Research Infrastructure Strategy.

The Landscape Study underscores the importance of a shared RRI strategy that can effectively coordinate the many complementary features of research infrastructures in ASEAN and address existing shared challenges for the benefit of the regional Science, Technology and Innovation community.

Key discussion points among participants of the workshop included the development of e-catalogues that showcase existing national research infrastructures that can be shared regionally, the importance of talent mobility and training, as well as corresponding financial and operational models.

The implementation of the ASEAN RRI Strategy currently in the making is expected to strengthen ASEAN’s research capabilities, promote exchanges and knowledge transfer within the region and beyond, including with the EU, and foster economic growth, enabling the region to better address evolving regional needs.

The workshop concluded with the agreement on priority topics for the first draft of the ASEAN RRI Strategy, setting a strong foundation for future scientific cooperation within ASEAN and with the EU and other international partners. The event was organised by Thailand’s MHESI and the ASEAN RRI Task Force, with the support of the EU through the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI).

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