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MEKONG INSTITUTE Thailand, a Cluster House’s associate representing GMS level

Fostering Innovation and Technological Connectivity in the GMS

Mekong Institute (MI) is an intergovernmental organization (IGO) founded by member countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

The GMS is a natural economic area bound together by the Mekong River, covering 2.6 million square kilometers and a combined population of around 326 million. The GMS countries are Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (PRC, specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. In 1992, with assistance from ADB, the six countries entered into a program of subregional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries.

They serve the GMS countries, by providing, implementing, and facilitating integrated human resource development, capacity building programs, and development projects related to regional cooperation and integration through Innovation and Technology, Agriculture and Trade Development. They aim to explore the Innovation and Technological Connectivity (ITC) to help the community at large. Mekong Institute is an active catalyst for Technological Innovations and sustainable developments for better GMS.

Innovation and Technological Connectivity plays an important role in addressing the evolving need to integrate technological advances as the region adopts more modern methods and approaches. For Mekong Institute (MI), the aim would be to support innovation and technological connectivity as the basis for new programs which link countries in the Mekong with each other and with others in ASEAN.

 The “Innovation and Technological Connectivity” (ITC) is responding to the rapid modernization of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), aiming to narrow the development gaps by strengthening technological connectivity. Fast evolving technology, particularly information and communication technology, is now the norm of how the world works and an everyday reality for many people.

Current economic development literature argues that the ability to engage in innovation through collaboration and connectivity is now essential for countries to participate in today’s knowledge driven, technology-based economies. This type of connectivity and access not only provides information, but also attracts investment because it helps with the communication and networking now necessary to understand and respond to market needs. In today’s complex world, no challenge or opportunity can be addressed successfully through a one-dimensional approach.

Technology is now integral to and essential for the development of both agriculture and trade. For MI, the aim is to support innovation and technological connectivity which link countries in the Mekong with each other and with others in ASEAN and the global community.

The ITC addresses these issues and maximizes opportunities that enhance the work of the other departments in the institute. The focus is on innovation and technological connectivity initiatives, in areas such as Environment, Clean Energy, Digital marketing, Telecommunications etc., and how these are interrelated to collectively support GMS integration and competitiveness. It will also focus on creating the right atmosphere and circumstances for the development of innovation and technology in the region as an effective pillar to support the advances in agriculture and trade.

The capacity development program of the ITC revolves around the creation of learning opportunities for policy makers, entrepreneurs, researchers, professionals and people working in the development community.  ITC provides a number of different programs, such as:

The need for innovation that introduces and supports technological connectivity constitutes a new regional development theme, essential for the economic growth and prosperity of the GMS.  MI proudly ushers in the new ITC Department to contribute to our overall impact and success in the region.

Mekong Institute (MI) is organizing  three Regional Training Programs on "Renewable Energy, Eneregy Efficiency and Energy cooperation"  during the year 2017 in collaboration with Energy of Policy and Planning office ( EPPO), Ministry of Energy ,Thailand.  All these training will be organized in the Ml Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand with the Structured Learning Visits (SLVs) to successful projects in Thailand.

These trainings aim to enhance the knowledge and skills of government officials and professionals from Private organizations , academic and research institutions in Energy development, utilization and promotional policies across the GMS countries.

MI is looking a Private/Funding Organization who can partly sponsor these training programs.This collaboration will help the private organization  by way of introducing private sector technology and innovation  using better public services through improved operational efficiency,enhancing the capacity   to deliver projects on time and within budget . It will help in developing local private sector capabilities through joint ventures with large international firms, as well as sub-contracting opportunities for local firms  at various types of project activities. Enabling   private organization participation  to show case   and transfer  their skills   that will lead to operations professionally and eventually export their competencies by bidding for projects/ joint ventures and increasing the   competitiveness in terms of its facilitating infrastructure base as well as giving a boost to its business and industry associated with  energy sector  development .