JAKARTA, 31 May 2017 – Fifteen ASEAN-US Science and Technology (S&T) Fellows and their supervisors from eight ASEAN Members States convened at the ASEAN Foundation in Jakarta today to celebrate the successes from their fellowship over the last year. Under the third annual cohort of the S&T Fellowship, these early-career scientists were selected through a highly competitive process among over 130 applicants from across the region to contribute their skills and experience to support and influence policy making across one of three focal areas:  science, technology and innovation (STI) policy; climate variability; and sustainable energy. 

“The primary aim of the fellowship is to support the use of the best available science to policy-making,” said Ambassador Dan Shields, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Mission to ASEAN.  “The ministries get a scientific researcher as a team member and the fellows learn how they can contribute evidence to the policy process in government.  This type of fellowship has been an excellent program in the United States since 1973 and now boasts a network of over 2,600 scientists.  We are pleased to collaborate with ASEAN to do something similar.”

To date, individual fellows have submitted policy recommendations to their national governments, published articles in scientific journals and promoted harnessing scientific and technological advances in the development of policies to address development challenges in technical areas such as biodiversity, renewable energy, fisheries, and disaster management. Groups of fellows from several ASEAN Member States have also worked together, for example to jointly develop a proposal to improve trans-boundary fish monitoring and to create a Network of ASEAN Energy Consulting Experts to support the ASEAN Senior Officials on Energy and other ASEAN bodies.

“More than just consistently growing in numbers of participants, the program is maturing in ways that are central to the implementation of the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation,” said Dr. Tung Ciny, Under Secretary General of State, Ministry of Industry and Handicraft, Cambodia, cum ASEAN Committee on S&T Chairperson. “Proactive fellows have begun working together to promote regional cooperation in applied science, which contributes to our vision of an ASEAN enabled by science, technology and innovation.”