South East Asia

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The Southeast Asian Research Landscape

Under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a single regional common market and production base will be created by 2015 comprising the ten member countries of ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. There will be free flow of goods, services, investment capital and skilled labour following the liberalization. The AEC will have an aggregate population of close to 600 million which will be larger than the European Union itself. ASEAN’s GDP in 2010 reached €1.4 trillion, or 3% of global GDP, with total trade of over €1.5 trillion, comprising 6.8% of world trade. ASEAN’s GDP is expected to double by the year 2020. ASEAN as a whole represents the European Union’s (EU’s) 3rd largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China) with more than €206 billion of trade in goods and services in 2011. The EU is ASEAN 2nd largest trading partner after China, accounting for around 11% of ASEAN trade. The EU is by far the largest investor in ASEAN countries with EU firms having invested €9.1 billion annually on average during the period 2000–2009. The past decade has seen a substantial increase in the level of cooperation in Science, Technology and Innovation between the ASEAN and the European Union (EU). ASEAN-EU co-publications have increased more than five-fold over the past, a growth rate which exceeds the growth of the ASEAN’s co-publications with the US, China, Japan and India during the same period. 112 ASEAN research institutions have been participating in EU Seventh Framework programme (FP7) funded projects worth more than 517 million Euro receiving around 28.8 million Euro of direct funding.

This cooperation continues to expand as well as deepens, and involves an increasingly wide range of actors. The ASEAN region consists of 10 countries and features a wide variety of stakeholders in research and innovation. The federal level and the 13 Provinces and Territories share the responsibility for research and science.

Some examples of big research institutions in the region are: Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Institute of Technology Cambodia, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, National University Lao, University Putra Malaysia, Yangon Technological University, University of the Philippines, A*Star, National Science and Technology Development Agency Thailand, Hanoi University

EU-ASEAN Cooperation in Research and Innovation

EU-ASEAN cooperation in Science and Technology builds on the mutual agreement on deepening the cooperation between both regions from 15 March 2007 in Nuremberg (“Nuremberg declaration”). Since its coming into force, the EU-ASEAN agreement on S&T has been enhances by various support measures like the FP7-projects SEA-EU-NET, CONNECT2SEA, SUSTAIN-EU-ASEAN, the activities of the EURAXESS programme as well as by the Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (READI).

Horizon 2020 (2014 – 2020), the European Union’s framework program on research and innovation, offers many opportunities for cooperation with Canadian researchers, particularly in the collaborative projects but also in the ERC Grants and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Collaborators from 8 of 10 ASEAN member states are eligible to receive funding (all except Brunei Darussalam and Singapore that can only receive funding when fulfilling certain criteria).

Thematic areas with the highest potential for cooperation between both regions depend, due to the various stages of economic development in the regions, on the country you want to work with. Health, Agriculture, Food, Aquaculture, Environment, Water and Transport are definitely of interest to both regions.



SEA-EU-NET is an international science cooperation network (InCo-Net) to deepen science and technology (S&T) cooperation between Europe and Southeast Asia running from 2012 to 2016. In a strategic manner, the project identifies opportunities for S&T cooperation, creates a policy dialogue between the countries of Europe and Southeast Asia on S&T cooperation, and increases the participation of researchers from Southeast Asia in the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation To ensure maximum value, SEA-EU-NET focuses on three societal challenges: Health, Food Security and Safety, and Water Management. The project builds on the experiences from its predecessor project with the same name that ran from 2008-2012. The 48 month project is funded under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement No. 311784.

For more information please visit: SEA-EU-NET

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