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Mapping the Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship in ASEAN

22 September 2022

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Jakarta, 22 September 2022: Innovation-driven entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic growth and will play a key role in ASEAN’s post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery as it will accelerate creation and scale-up firms based on new ideas and business models. With the increased adoption of technology by and the pool of talent of millions of firms across ASEAN, mapping and measuring innovative entrepreneurial behaviours are becoming imperative. However, indicators to map out innovative entrepreneurial activities are not well researched and often do not entirely fit the purpose. Therefore, it is important to use the right data set and expand new methodologies to identify innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

This knowledge was shared during the special episode of the E-S-I Knowledge Lab online webinar series organised by the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) on 22 September 2022. The event presented key findings from ERIA’s recent policy brief, Mapping Innovation-driven Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: An Overview.

Matjaz Vidmar, Lecturer in Engineering Management at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, presented it. He explained several existing ways to measure innovation, such as research and development, patents, or new products that often represent the outcome of the innovation process. Although patent indicators are the commonly used innovation indicators, he said that these only indicate the levels of knowledge-driven innovation and not, to a lesser degree, other types of new business creation such as process innovation, business model, amongst others. He explained how the study offers a new approach called Emerging Places of Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship or e-PIE to provide a holistic and dynamic set of indicators to measure the entrepreneurial ecosystem based on its complex adaptive structure. He said the approach is based on identification of areas concentration of start-ups and innovation founders, and data on high-tech expertise and the investment scene in emerging companies.

The presentation of ERIA research was followed by a panel discussion.

Emmanuel A. San Andreas, Senior Analyst at the Policy Unit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), underscored the importance of using the right data sets and expanding the sources of data to better inform economic policymaking. He presented recent APEC research using big data to monitor and analyse labour market trends across APEC. These methodologies, he said, can help augment traditional sources of data in providing real-time analyses and could be especially useful in times of economic shocks.

Alessandro Rosiello, Senior Lecturer at the Business School Entrepreneurship, University of Edinburgh, explained how to differentiate the types of data used to map and measure the entrepreneurship ecosystem in developing and developed markets. Aside from collecting and processing data, he said, researchers should consider the geographical perspective and how the innovation ecosystem works in a specific location to make an accurate analysis.

Matjaz Vidmar, Lecturer in Engineering Management at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, shared his view on the growing interest and need to use interdisciplinary lenses such as combining social science, engineering, and data and design approach in looking at economic–social issues such as entrepreneurship ecosystem. However, he mentioned that one of the challenges in using an interdisciplinary approach is learning how to filter and interpret the data set the right way.

The webinar was moderated by Giulia Ajmone Marsan, ERIA’s Strategy and Partnership Director, who emphasised the importance of harmonising data on entrepreneurship and innovation to scale up entrepreneurial skills and mindset.

Tiat Jin Ooi, Lead Consultant of the E-S-I Knowledge Lab, moderated the question-and-answer session that discussed the next steps of the study, focusing on data to identify new or emerging innovation in less-represented entrepreneurship such as small business and women entrepreneurship.

ERIA’s E-S-I Knowledge Lab webinar was organised under ERIA’s Strategy and Partnership Programme and supported by the Australian Government.

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