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ERIA Forges Collaborative Partnerships with Universities in Southeast Asia for Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy

16 December 2023

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Tokyo, 16 December 2023: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) has taken the initial step to establish the ASEAN Technology University Network to fortify its collaboration on academic and research activities with universities across the Southeast Asia region. This move was marked by the signing of two Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Institut Teknologi Bandung (Bandung Institute of Technology - ITB) from Indonesia and De La Salle University (DLSU) of the Philippines, along with a Letter of Intent (LoI) with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

‘We anticipate fruitful partnerships that will pave the way for pioneering academic pursuits in the field of technology and digital innovation,’ stated ERIA President Tetsuya Watanabe, who signed the MoU and LoI with his counterparts, Professor Reini Wirahadikusumah, PhD, Rector of ITB; Acd Professor Dr Alvin B. Culaba, Director, Centre for Engineering and Sustainable Development Research of De La Salle University; Professor Ts Dr Abd Latif bin Saleh, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Kuala Lumpur Campus of UKM. The signing ceremony was witnessed by the newly appointed Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan, Saito Ken.

The ceremony was a part of the 'ERIA Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC): Visible Initiatives for ASEAN and Japan' event, held on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-Creation Forum on 16 December 2023, commemorating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan relations. This event was jointly hosted with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, Japan (METI), the AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee (AMEICC), and related organisations.

ERIA established the Digital Innovation and Sustainable Economy Centre (E-DISC) in August 2023 as a platform focusing on digital trade, data governance, innovation, and entrepreneurship. ‘This MoU and LoI signing will establish a framework for collaboration with academia in the universities for the development of various programs, with E-DISC as the platform,’ said ERIA Chief Operating Officer Koji Hachiyama.

E-DISC aims to provide knowledge-building and capacity-building support, foster public-private dialogue, and offer regional policy recommendations. Through the signed MoU and LoI, ERIA and its counterparts plan to promote joint-research activity, exchange country information, provide policy recommendations, encourage the dissemination of the joint research findings, promote new methods of human resources development for the digital era in ASEAN, and organise co-sponsored or co-hosted events, public-private dialogues, workshops and/or facilitate appropriate events/activities.

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