Members of the Global Young Academy (GYA) and external experts met for the first meeting of the GloSYS ASEAN project in Bangkok, Thailand. This kickoff meeting was the first regional workshop following up on the GloSYS precursor study published by the GYA earlier this year (Friesenhahn and Beaudry, 2014). The workshop was hosted by the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) on 3-4 November 2014.
The aim of this workshop was to collectively brainstorm in generating the GloSYS ASEAN blueprint including development of a conceptual framework and an action plan for the next 14 months. There were 12 participants from 5 different nations (Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, Scotland and Japan). The workshop commenced with a warm greeting by Dr. Orakanoke Phanraksa, Dr. Wibool Piyawattanametha, and Dr. Kitipong Promwong from Thailand, an introduction to the findings of the GloSYS precursor study by Prof. Catherine Beaudry via Skype from Canada, and a keynote presentation by Prof. Futao Huang from Japan on The Academic Profession in Selected Asian Systems, based on an international survey conducted in 2011-2012. The discussions during a two-day workshop addressed the general research questions of the GloSYS project (e.g. support for young scientists, working conditions, mobility, gender inequalities) and the research questions specific for the GloSYS ASEAN study (e.g. creativity and innovation). First, the discussions were focused on the review of the existing questionnaires from the GloSYS precursor study. Then, the existing questionnaires were transformed to follow the theme of GloSYS ASEAN blueprint. Next, the workshop was complemented by reports from Thailand (by Dr. Chinawut Chinaprayoon) and Malaysia (by Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam and Dr. Brendon Tagg) on the state and current trends of researchers and other highly qualified workforce in the respective countries. Dr. Johannes Geffers, the new GYA Project Researcher at the GYA Office in Berlin and present at the workshop in Bangkok, is currently supporting and coordinating the continued work on the research instruments and the framework of the project. The workshop was concluded with action plans and execution time line to meet with this GloSYS ASEAN 14-month plan study.
The GloSYS ASEAN project (“GloSYS ASEAN – Creativity and Innovation of Young Scientists in ASEAN”) is the first regional study as part of the GYA GloSYS project. It receives financial supports in part from the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) of Thailand, and is co-funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. As such, it is a wonderful example of a collaboration of “East and West” in Asia. Already at the kickoff, the team has already been approached to share the findings of the project at the Ministerial Meeting of ASEAN in Laos next year in November 2015.
For more information about previous work on the GloSYS project please see also our report by Irene Friesenhahn and Catherine Beaudry, published in January 2014.