The European Union (EU) and its partners across the ASEAN region affirm the crucial role that science diplomacy plays in creating solutions to the global challenges such as climate change at the EU Research & Innovation Days in ASEAN 2021.
Anchored on the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this EU’s annual flagship event brings together policymakers, researchers, and the public to discuss and shape the future of research and innovation. It also serves as a platform for innovators, practitioners, and activists to explore opportunities for collaboration and career development with European partners.
This year’s edition has been elevated to a regional event and conducted virtually, capitalising on the more digitally connected world. The seven-week programme (1 November - 14 December) presents expert panel discussions, practical workshops, training sessions, and a series of virtual research laboratory tours, highlighting how research and science communities in Europe and South East Asia can effectively collaborate to tackle the global challenges.
In her keynote speech, Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in Research & Innovation at the European Commission (EC) stated that “Europe’s Global Approach is the new strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation. It provides the policy framework for the EU’s cooperation programmes such as Horizon Europe, which is the biggest research programme in the world. It mobilises € 95 billion for a duration of seven years (2021-2027).”
She stated further that “We want to be very open. Europe wants to have the possibility to work together with the best scientists in the world in order to tackle the global societal challenges together.”
H.E. Igor Driesmans, Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, reiterated in his opening remarks that "In a world that becomes more and more connected, that is digital and open, we can only succeed if the best and most promising researchers are allowed to freely do their research in an international context for the benefit of our societies and economies."
The first week discussions (1-3 November) focused on the EU's collaboration with the ASEAN to address climate change. The discussions also highlighted how the EU-ASEAN collaboration could contribute to the European Green Deal, which aims to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient, and competitive economy.
H.E. Satvinder Singh, the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community, acknowledged the progress the EU has made in making green technologies widely affordable. He expressed his hope for ASEAN to “have access to some of these green technologies solutions. This is where I see that the ASEAN and the EU can forge a much stronger partnership under the EU-ASEAN Dialogue on Greentech and Innovation Mapping.”
“My message to all young scientists participating in the EU Research & Innovation Days is to focus on what they love doing, hone those skills and find a tool they can have in their pocket and use in the future”, said Dr Phanramphoei Namprachan Frantz (Jibby), a postdoctoral researcher who is working on the COVID-19 vaccine research at the Innovation Lab Vaccines at Institut Pasteur in Paris. Dr Jibby is also an alumna of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA), the EU’s global flagship programme that promotes career development and mobility of excellent researchers.
Upcoming highlights from the EU Research & Innovation Days in ASEAN, running from 1 November until 14 December, include training opportunities in science diplomacy, science communication, publishing works, and entrepreneurship. Participants will also learn about career development opportunities provided by EU Member States. Country-specific sessions will be conducted in Thailand and Vietnam.
Registration for upcoming sessions: http://engage.eu/ridaysasean2021/
All completed sessions are available to watch on the landing page.