Promoting innovation and technology in ASEAN countries

Project description

Title: Promoting innovation and technology in ASEAN countries
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: ASEAN countries
Lead executing agency: ASEAN Secretariat
Overall term: 2014 to 2016


The ASEAN countries are cooperating in the area of science, technology and innovation with a view to making the ASEAN Community more competitive in technological terms. To this end, the workforce is to acquire better technological skills and networking among scientific and technological institutions is to be intensified. At present, the share of corporate spending on research and development among the ASEAN countries varies greatly and is significiantly less than in other economies. This can be attributed to the fact that the institutional framework supporting private sector involvement in the promotion of innovation and technology development is generally inadequate.


Better general conditions and a more enabling institutional environment are in place for private sector involvement in promoting innovation and technology development in the ASEAN region.


The project ties in with the objectives of – and helps to implement – the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science and Technology (APAST). In this context, GIZ is supporting the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology in implementing two activities of APAST, namely:

  1. drawing up a policy framework for cooperation with the private sector in promoting innovation and technology, and
  2. identifying joint projects for promoting innovation and technology.

The approach comprises the following elements:

  • A needs analysis, enabling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be involved in promoting innovation and technology: particular consideration is given to the needs of and opportunities for women.
  • An ideas competition for approaches and instruments so that the private sector is involved in promoting innovation and technology and corresponding pilot programmes are developed.
  • Guidelines to form a policy framework that will enable private sector involvement in the promotion of innovation and technology: this work is taking place at Community level through an advisory process which focuses on learning by doing, carried out by by a working group set up specifically for this purpose.
  • Networking and individual skills of the different stakeholders are promoted through training and various events (human capacity development).


The following results have been achieved to date within the framework of the project activities:

  • The needs of SMEs in the six participating ASEAN countries in relation to promoting innovation and technology have been systematically analysed in talks with a total of 40 stakeholders, and a number of starting points for suitable pilot programmes have been identified.
  • Six pilot programmes have been selected from the ideas competition and the first steps have been taken towards developing them further.
  • The ASEAN Committee for Science and Technology has set up a working group on framework conditions for private sector involvement in the promotion of innovation and technology. This Committee has begun to elaborate a guideline-type document.
  • The 46 participants who attended a training course have enhanced their expertise regarding the innovative capacity of SMEs, drawn up recommendations for corresponding policy reforms and established relevant network contacts.