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4th Asian Innovation Forum Organised by STPI Taiwan and KISTEP Korea in partnership with ECOSF at Taipei, Taiwan on July 10th, 2018

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In partnership with ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and S&T Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) from Taiwan and the Korea Institute of S&T Evaluation and Planning (KISTEP) the 4th Asian Innovation Forum was organized in Taipei, Taiwan on July 10th, 2018. The Forum focused on the themes of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy management, Emerging Technologies and National Strategy for STI for the sustainable future. The major goal of organizing this Forum was to address the key challenges facing Asia and to seek creative solutions, collaborative efforts for inclusive and sustainable growth in the region. The Forum provided a platform to seek new possibilities by bringing together innovation leaders, policy makers, researcher and STI program developers by sharing the knowledge and experiences in STI in the Asian region.

A large number of innovation leaders, policy makers and research scientists, entrepreneurs, scholars and representatives of leading STI organizations and academia from across the region attended the Forum. The Asian Innovation Forum is held annually, since it was launched in 2015 and brings together global leaders in their respective fields of STI to discuss and exchange ideas on various topics such as value creation in innovation economy, evidence-based policy making, sustainable development and inclusive growth. It is important to mention here that ECOSF is the founder member of the AIF and the Asian STI Think Tanks Networks (ASTN). On behalf of ECOSF, Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro President ECOSF and Engr. Khalil Raza Scientific Officer ECOSF participated in the Forum. During the Forum, Prof. Soomro also moderated and chaired one of the sessions co-organized by the ECOSF.

The Forum was formally opened by H.E. Liang-Gee Chen Minster for Science and Technology (MoST), Taiwan. In his welcome address, Minister Chen acknowledged all the partners for their contributions to the Forum. This Forum is an opportunity to seek creative solutions by bringing in collaborative efforts and strengthening partnership with leading STI organizations and partners, he added. Minister Chen stressed over the importance of STI policy interventions to address the challenges in the region. He shared that MoST Taiwan launched a major STI Policy shift in recent years to close the gaps between the academia and university, and catalyze the disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence. Thus, one needs to adapt to this change and take necessary steps to tackle this challenge and turn it into an opportunity to improve the stagnant economic growth and work towards more job creation and sustainable economic development, he added.

Later during the Forum, Dr. Se-In Park, Policy Advisor KISTEP and Dr. Yuh-Jzer Joung Director General STPI gave their welcome remarks. During the Forum, Prof. Patarapong Intarakumnerd of National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan and Dr. Prof. Laoucine Kerbache of Qatar Foundation delivered their keynote speeches.

Prof. Patarapong Intarakummernard of GRIPS delivered his keynote speech on “Technology Upgrading and Innovation in ASEAN’s Manufacturing Firms”. Prof. Intarakummernard highlighted the key upgradation and technological status of selected Southeast Asian countries. He showed that commercial firms in Southeast Asia innovated more and upgraded their technological capabilities with informal R&D support. Majority of the firms performed better in key industrial sectors, namely electronics, automotive and resources based industries. However, in machinery industry technology upgradation was limited. He suggested that in order to upgrade their technologically in later stages, firms have to pursue independent technological learning paths.

Prof. Laoucine Kerbache, the Vice President of Research Development and Innovation, Qatar Foundation delivered his keynote speech on “Innovation Ecosystems as Complex Supply Chains: Concepts and Framework”. Prof. Kerbache stressed that innovation across Asia is a crucial element of economic competitiveness, which is driving new policies, programs and activities by the governments. He critically evaluated and examined innovation ecosystems which are capturing greater attention from governments and companies that are striving to provide favorable environments for innovators to create knowledge and capture business value. He showed that in order for the business ecosystem to create value for companies and customers, the knowledge ecosystem needs to be driven by R&D to create new knowledge by universities and research institutes.

During the Forum, three sessions were organized as under:

  1. National Strategy for STI: Visions, Roadmaps & Action Plans (Organized by STPI)
  2. Emerging Technologies & Public Engagement (Organized by ECOSF)
  3. S&T Policy/Program Management: Approaches and Practices (Organzied by KISTEP)

ECOSF organized the session on “Emerging Technologies and Public Engagement”

The session on “Emerging Technologies and Public Engagement” was organized by the ECOSF.  The objective of holding the session was to highlight and generate a dialogue on challenges, adoption and potential risks related to new and emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles, impact of crypto currencies, smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT), AI and the implications for cybersecurity. The session brought together expert panelists from diverse backgrounds where they discussed the role of governments, academia and businesses to promote and develop the emerging technologies and industry in Asia to achieve the sustainable future. Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro President ECOSF introduced each speaker, steered and moderated the panel discussion during the session.

The following panelists participated in the panel discussion:

  • Nicolas Payen, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Future Economy Studio, Singapore
  • Tony An, Chief Marketing Officer SmartCity Tech, Taiwan
  • Aslam Pirzada, CEO Ideal Autonetics Limited, Pakistan
  • Dexter Teo, Executive Director, Intellectual Property Office of Singapore International

Major takeaways of the Panel Discussion are as follows:

Mr. Nicolas Payen, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Future Economy Studio, Singapore delivered his talk on Simplify Renewable Energy Finance : A Blockchain Use Case beyond the Crypto Hype for the infrastructure Sector”. He highlighted that renewable energy is the fastest growing source of energy and by 2040, 86% of the new investment will in renewable energy industry. He outlined that solar became the cheapest source of energy financing in 2017. While the financing of the increasing number of small to mid-size projects (less than 30 MW) is far less profitable for traditional project financiers due to the associated transaction cost. Project owners struggle because projects financing is long, complex and costly when dealing with non-specialized investors and local banks. This is where the blockchain can be used to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy assets globally to mitigate the risk for the future generations related to climate change. Mr. Payen showcased as to how Positive Energy Ltd is leveraging blockchain technology to simplify renewable energy finance by providing the world’s most powerful renewable energy finance platform to source, fund and trade clean energy assets.

Mr. Tony An, Chief Marketing Officer of LITE-ON presented his talk on “Smart Cities and Transportation”. Mr. An highlighted that governments around the world are seeking new ways to accommodate an ever increasing population and to improve quality of life of the residents. LITE-ON technology considers data at the center of any forward thinking solution that aims to make cities more efficient and sustainable, he added. Through leveraging existing infrastructure, LITE-ON is modernizing cities through smart lampposts, which are ideally suited to housing an array of smart sensors for real-time data collection. This transformation of a bedrock of the city landscape with IoT gateways and sensors will allow governments to monitor weather conditions, air pollution, traffic status and sound levels to both increase transparency and quickly react to anomalous events.

Mr. Aslam Pirzada, CEO Ideal Autonetics Limited, Pakistan delivered his talk on Emerging Technologies for the Sustainable Development in the Developing Countries”. He stressed that Information Technology (IT) is paving out the ways to resolve the future challenges using efficient and effective use of resources and managing governance. The next era of human-machine partnership is bringing with it the power to exponentially amplify the creativity, intelligence, inspiration and curiosity of the human spirit. With help Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud Computing, 4G connectivity, Big Data Analytics and Virtualization, IT is lending a supportive hand to diverse fields from agriculture to industrial operations, and governance to health issues. This IT revolution has the potential to contribute to the sustainable development in the developing countries.

Mr. Dexter Teo presented his talk on “Singapore – A Living Lab for Renewable Energy”. Mr. Teo shed light on initiatives undertaken by the Intellectual Property Organization of Singapore (IPOS), which undertook a Patent Analytics study into Solar Photovoltaic (PV), one of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies. The increase in Solar PV capacity installed was enabled by strong technology innovations in the preceding years, leading to many of the technological roadblocks being cleared for ease of commercialization and implementation. He shared that Singapore is uniquely placed as a city-state to push the frontiers of innovation, backed by strong governmental support for both R&D and Intellectual Property (IP) protection. Through Patent Analytics, Singapore is also able to identify emerging areas of system integration, management and optimization.

The session concluded with Q&A, feedbacks and active interaction with the audience.

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