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ERIA, The Asian Network Launch E-S-I Knowledge Lab in KL

23 September 2022

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Kuala Lumpur, 23 September 2022: The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA)  and The Asian Network launched on 23 September 2022 in Kuala Lumpur the Entrepreneurship, Start-ups, Innovation (E-S-I) Knowledge Lab to promote inclusive economic development though entrepreneurship and innovation across ASEAN and East Asia.

The E-S-I Knowledge Lab is a platform to discuss and share ideas and develop knowledge on how innovation and business creation contribute to the post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery across ASEAN and East Asia. The lab is open and collaborative and engages actors across academia, the business community, policymakers, and international organisations. 

The E-S-I Knowledge Lab covers new technology and innovation trends in several key areas such as education, agricultural, and health technology and intends to connect the growing community of ASEAN innovators with peers across the globe. The lab is committed to promote innovation for inclusive development, particularly by promoting knowledge on how to support women entrepreneurs and innovators; innovative social enterprises that are working to include persons with disabilities; and the digitalisation of micro, small, and medium-scaled enterprises (MSMEs).

Key stakeholders from the Malaysian business community, knowledge organisations, and entrepreneurship and innovation support organisations discussed challenges and opportunities to foster inclusion in the digital economy and innovation in ASEAN, focusing on the post-pandemic digital economy. They also discussed the importance of skills development and training and promoting entrepreneurship education. Whilst highlighting the opportunities offered by big data to map and monitor access to education across Malaysia, they deliberated on potential challenges related to privacy. The importance of multi-stakeholder approaches, the need to promote youth entrepreneurship and leadership, and the connection of ASEAN to other emerging regions emerged during the discussion.

Dr Giulia Ajmone Marsan, ERIA’s Strategy and Partnership Director, said that through the E-S-I Knowledge Lab, ERIA wants to engage with a broad range of stakeholders, from the business community to education and government institutions, to get a sense of where the innovation ecosystem is going. Digital divides, she added, are emerging clearly, and to promote a more inclusive digital economy, with a better access for MSMEs, women, people in rural areas, and other disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities, stakeholders cannot work in isolation.

Ravindra Ngo, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Asian Network, emphasised the importance of partnering with ERIA under its Empower Our Future series, which engages key players and stakeholders amongst The Asian Network members, including non-profit and corporate sectors, entrepreneurs, and young leaders.

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