Spotlight on: Stimulating Innovation in Southeast Asia
The SEA-EU-NET 2 project has continued its analytical activities with an analysis of innovation support policies, programmes and instruments available in selected Southeast Asian countries, the results of which have now been published in the form of a report (available in book format and at www.sea-eu.net). The study aims at supporting innovation policy in both Southeast Asia and partner regions, especially in Europe. It can facilitate policymakers’ work by providing a state-of-the-art compendium of innovation support schemes in the region. It can also support innovation performers from the public and private sector in identifying available support for their research and commercialisation endeavours.
In addition to public programmes and indirect public support schemes, the report discusses venture capital availability, intellectual property rights systems and innovation-related international cooperation patterns. Setting the scene, the first part of the report provides the regional context looking at economic data on trade and foreign direct investment. This regional overview chapter then narrows down its perspective to focus on STI related aspects such as data on publications and patents. The overview continues with a regional comparison of STI policies and support programs and the organisations that are responsible for the implementation of these programmes. It also show-cases some common challenges for the countries of the region. The third and final part of the overview deals with ASEAN-level integration as well as innovation-relevant intra-regional and international linkages of the region.
The regional overview chapter is followed by country chapters, each of them following a similar structure: First, economic and business environment indicators are presented and the landscape of research performing actors introduced. Secondly, the country’s specificities in terms of STI governance and policy are outlined. The third and core part of each country chapter presents public innovation support programmes, indirect incentives and information on available investment support, venture capital and intellectual property protection. After a view on international cooperation linkages, each chapter closes with the authors’ interpretation of key strengths and weaknesses. This common structure is chosen in order to make the data and findings comparable.
The six countries selected by the SEA-EU-NET 2 project to be covered in this study are: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This selection results from the participation of the countries within the SEA-EU-NET 2 project, country support offered for the study as well as, to some degree, on economic and scientific performance. While each country chapter’s structure is similar, the depth of information and analyses provided varies according to data availability.
The methodology of the study was based on desk research of existing studies and official data and statistics; on data collected during a fact-finding mission of the SEA-EU-NET 2 analysis team in 2013, where Europeans together with Southeast Asian project partners visited the countries covered as well as information gathered at ASEAN level events. During the fact-finding mission, European and Southeast Asian experts from the project visited around 10-15 different stakeholders in each country for in-depth, semi-structured expert interviews. The interview guidelines had been developed by the analysis team and provided to the interviewees in advance whenever requested. The draft chapters have been discussed with selected country innovation system experts and the wider public during the ASEAN-EU STI Days in Bangkok in January 2014. Feedback from the national-level interviewees during the fact-finding mission has kindly been provided.
The innovation report was a joint effort carried out by a number of specialists both from Europe and Southeast Asia. It was edited by Florian Gruber, Alexander Degelsegger (both ZSI), Rudie Trienes (KNAW) and Svend Otto Remoe (RCN), all from the analysis team of the SEA-EU-NET 2 project.
This report will be followed up and accompanied by a related publication on innovation framework conditions (regarding intellectual property rights, material transfer agreements and public procurement for innovation) to be published in autumn 2014.