Bandar Seri Begawan, 2 December 2012 – Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), YB Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili attended the 7th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology (IAMMST) which was chaired by Brunei Darussalam Minister of Development H.E. Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi Bin Hj Osman here today. The biennial meeting was also attended Ministers and Senior Officials from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN was also in attendance.
Prior to that this week four senior officers meetings were held namely Krabi Initiative (KI) Workshop, 21st Advisory Body on ASEAN Plan of Action (ABAPAST) Meeting, 20th Advisory Body on ASEAN Science Fund (ABASF) and 64th Committee on Science and Technology (COST).
At the 7th IAMMST, the ASEAN Ministers endorsed three recommendations made at COST to operationalise the eight thematic tracks of the Krabi Initiative. The recommendations are reorganisation and re-structuring of COST, the establishment of an ASEAN Innovation Fund (AIF), and the establishment of performance review mechanism for Sub-Committees under COST. During the meeting Dr Ongkili expressed the need for the recommendations to be carried out as soon as possible in view of the fast changing technology and innovation landscape.
The ASEAN Krabi Initiative is a policy framework, endorsed by the 6th IAMMST held in Krabi, Thailand on December 2010, to move ASEAN forward through science, technology and innovation (STI). It is based on eight (8) thematic tracks or areas of cooperation i.e.
a. ASEAN innovation for global market;
b. Digital economy, new media and social networking;
c. Green technology;
d. Food security;
e. Energy security;
f. Water resource management;
g. Biodiversity for health and wealth; and
h. Science and innovation for life.
Based on the KI, a new ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) will be developed for the period 2016-2020. The new APASTI will embody people-oriented paradigm shifts namely: STI enculturation; bottom-of-the-pyramid focus; youth-focussed innovation; STI for green society and public-private sector partnership.
YB Dr Ongkili is also in favour of having a holistic study carried out by experts or a consortium of experts to make recommendations on the restructuring of COST, taking into account the alignment and convergence of flagship programmes and thematic tracks of the Krabi Initiative.
The Ministers agreed to the establishment of the ASEAN Innovation Fund (AIF) to support the implementation of the new APASTI. The new Fund will provide mechanisms to enable the participation of the private sector, dialogue partners and international agencies to contribute to the AIF. The Fund will be used to finance collaborative activities and projects with the potential for revenue generation.
YB Dr Ongkili in his speech also urged COST to accelerate the implementation of the framework of the ASEAN-China Science and Technology (STEP) programme which was launched at the ASEAN-China Ministerial Meeting on S&T on 21th September 2012 in Nanning, China.
The initial activities of this programme are (i) the establishment of a platform for sharing satellite data for precision farming; disaster management; urban planning and management of cities; and satellite broadcasting; (ii) setting up of joint laboratories, training centres and networking of research institutions; and (iii) training programmes in S&T and innovation policies to support technology transfer.
YB Dr Ongkili also took the opportunity to inform the meeting on the outcomes of the World Innovation Forum (WIF) held in Kuala Lumpur in early November this year. He also invited his ASEAN colleagues to participate and share country experiences on inclusive innovation especially on success stories on grassroots innovation in a special side-event on ASEAN Innovation at the next WIF.
Yesterday, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan of Brunei Darussalam received an audience from the ASEAN S&T ministers, deputy ministers and heads of delegation at Istana Nurul Iman. Also present at the audience were His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.
The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology (AMMST) ministerial meeting will be held in Cambodia in the last quarter of 2013.