Asia Ramps Up Research In 2021 UNESCO Science Report

To support sustainability and advance digital transformation, governments and researchers in Asia are coming together to focus research direction and increase output.

3. Learning how to treat water right

Across the globe, around 80 percent of all industrial and municipal wastewater is released into the environment without any prior treatment—posing great danger to biodiversity and global health.

Fortunately, more recent scientific publications are addressing this issue, with Central and Southeast Asia showing the most dramatic increase. For example, Vietnam’s output on the topic has quadrupled from 51 publications in 2012 to 2015, to 206 in 2016 to 2019.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, a wastewater management system is expected to be integral to the development of planned smart city aptly named New Clark City. With the announcement of such plans, research output on freshwater management in the Philippines doubled in 2018, proving how research consistently adapts to evolving demands.

4. Industry 4.0: a common agenda

Beyond the common goal of a greener world, moving towards a smarter one is also a prevalent agenda as digital technologies are considered vital for future economic competitiveness.

Many countries have set up institutional mechanisms to encourage the adoption of emerging technologies. For example, South Korea’s I-Korea Strategy focuses on new growth engines that include AI, drones and autonomous cars in line with the government’s innovation-driven economic policy.

In Southeast Asia, Indonesia has embarked on Making Indonesia 4.0—a roadmap towards an Industry 4.0 digital transformation. Initiatives are also set in place to encourage and support such research. In the Philippines, SETUP 4.0 offers micro-enterprises and SMEs loans of up to PHP 5 million to innovate in areas related to Industry 4.0.

Jill Arul graduated with a degree in Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, with a keen interest for science and a passion for storytelling.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist