President ECOSF participated in the ASTN Round Table Meeting as one of the Founder Members of ASTN organized by KISTEP on August 28, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea

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Prof. Dr. Manzoor Hussain Soomro, President ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) was especially invited to participate in the Asian STI Think Tanks Networks (ASTN) round-table meeting which was organized by the Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) on August 28, 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. ECOSF became the founder member of this Network during its launch in 2015, which was established to provide a cooperating platform for institutes in Asia specializing in policy, research and education for science, technology and innovation (STI) for sharing and exchanging unique knowledge and experiences to enhance STI capacity of the region. This round table meeting was convened for the 3rd Asian Innovation Forum (AIF) to share the insights, review and discuss the achievements and prospects of the AIF that was scheduled next day on August 29, 2017. A total of 17 institutes from 11 countries across the Asia representing S&T policymaking, research and education are members of the ASTN. Whereas, three new members joined this network during the meeting. The list of Member organizations is annexed.

The Forum was opened by Dr. Kichul Lim, KISTEP and delivered his welcome remarks and appreciated all the partner institutions for their participation. Dr. Lim emphasized that in order to promote STI development for better Asia, the ASTN network has to play it vital role in discussing and identifying the emerging issues and challenges in STI, seek opportunities for knowledge and research exchange, and strengthen communication and collaboration among member institutes. He encouraged the representatives to put forward practical ideas and suggestion for greater interaction among the participating ASTN institutions and ways to improve the effectiveness and impact of this initiative.

During the meeting, three new Institutes joined the Network and whereby a MoU signing ceremony was held. The three new partner institutions who joined the ASTN which are as under:

  1. Science, Technology Policy Research and Information Center, Taiwan.
  2. Intellectual Property of Singapore International, Singapore
  3. Department of Science and Technology, India

Later during the meeting, each representative of member institution of the ASTN was invited to briefly introduce their associated institution. Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro congratulated Dr. Lim for taking over as the new President of KISTEP and expressed his interest to work closely with KISTEP under his leadership of KISTEP. Prof. Soomro breifly introduced the roles and objective of ECOSF and shed light on various initiatives undertaken by the Foundation to promote cooperation among scientific community of the ECO region and beyond, help build the capacity and science popularization programs. He also highlighted some of the flagship programs of the Foundation, such as promotion of Inquiry Based Science Education and Engineering Qualification and Accreditation and Standardization etc.

Subsequently, the participants were invited to contribute to the discussion on possible areas and mechanisms to foster collaboration between the member institutes. During the discussion, Prof. Dr. Soomro proposed to rotate the leadership role in organizing the future ASTN meetings and the AIF. This would provide an opportunity to other member partners and institutions to host these events to promote collective wisdom and open up more avenues of cooperation and collaboration in STI, he added. Prof. Soomro also shared an example of Iran as how the imposed sanctions on her have fortified the Iran’s S&T sector especially in the advancement and development of indigenous technologies. Iran has excelled significantly in the areas of vaccines production and nano-technology as a result of sanctions that led to isolation which left Iran with no other option than to develop their indigenous solutions and technologies, he added. Representative of other member institutes also contributed to the discussion and proposed the recommendations as to how to effectively utilize this network in order to promote STI capacity building among the other member institutes.

Members of Asian STI Think Tanks Network

  1. Academy of Sciences Malaysia
  2. Chinese Academy of S&T for Development
  3. Economic Cooperation Organization Science Foundation
  4. Graduate School of National Public Policy at Chungnam National University
  5. Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
  6. Institute of Policy and Management of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  7. Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning
  8. Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology
  9. National Agency for Technological Development
  10. National Institute of Patent and Technology Exploitation
  11. National Institute of Science, Technology and Development Studies
  12. National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP)
  13. National Science and Technology Council of Cambodia
  14. OIC Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation
  15. Qatar National Research Fund
  16. UTM Perdana School of STI Policy
  17. Zaheer Science Foundation

New Members joined ASTN during the meeting:

  1. Science, Technology Policy Research and Information Center, Taiwan
  2. Intellectual Property of Singapore International, Singapore
  3. Department of Science and Technology (DST), India

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