ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology’s (COST) relationships with dialogue partners, namely Japan, China and Korea, received further boost through various capacity building, and youth and researchers exchange programmes discussed in the 6th Asean-Japan Cooperation Committee Meeting on Science and Technology (AJCCST-6) and the 8th Asean Cost Plus Three (COST+3) meeting held yesterday.
According to a press release, leading the Brunei delegation to the meeting was Dato Paduka Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Permanent Secretary (Technical & Professional), at the Ministry of Development, as the National COST Chair for Brunei Darussalam, along with senior officials from the Ministry of Development, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
The meetings discussed the recent decisions of the leaders during the 25th Asean Summit, 17th Asean Plus Three Summit and the 17th Asean-Japan Summit held in Myanmar in 2014 in order for Asean COST to align programmes and initiatives that will support the decisions of the leaders.
The meetings also followed up on decisions from the 8th Informal Asean Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology (IAMMST-8) and the 68th Asean COST meeting (COST-68) held in Bogor in August 2014. COST will work closely with dialogue partners in areas identified in the new Asean Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST 2015-2020).
The meetings especially discussed mechanisms to further strengthen cooperation and policy dialogue in potential areas such as Green Innovation, Life Innovation, Disaster Recovery & Reconstruction, Nanotechnology, as well as Materials & ICT.
Under Asean-Japan cooperation, the meetings agreed that Japan and Asean will work together towards an Asean-Japan work plan for the next five years which will be consistent with the new APASTI 2015-2020. This will allow the rebranding of several existing projects to flourish into more concrete STI-oriented collaborative projects.
It will also allow Japan to consider multi-year funding for Asean COST Flagship programmes, in particular in the area of Biofuels.
As for the COST+3 meeting, the Plus 3 countries briefed Asean on the recent development in their respective countries’ Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policies.
The meeting reviewed and took note of the good progress made under the ongoing Asean-Japan and Asean+3 cooperation framework such as Talented Young Scientist Programme, JENESYS 2.0 “Science and Technology” and Asean Plus Three Centre for the Gifted In Science.
The COST+3 meeting also addressed measures to further accelerate the implementation of new initiatives such as 10+3 Young Scientist Exchange Programme and Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Programme in Science.
The meeting also agreed to build on the progress made under the Asean-Japan and Asean+3 cooperation to further advance science and technology towards enhancing regional and national capacity, in order to address common societal challenges through funding support from the Japan Asean Integration Fund (JAIF) and China-Asean Science and Technology Partnership Programme (China-Asean STEP).
Members from the 10 Asean countries attending the meeting were also invited to attend the Nanotech 2015 which is the world’s largest exhibition and conference for nanotechnology held at the Tokyo Big Sight.