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  • Mariela Alcaparas

Ateneo attends SECRA workshop in Thailand

The Strengthening University-Enterprise Collaboration for Resilient Communities in Asia (SECRA) Project held a workshop last February 6-10, 2023 at Naresuan University in Phitsanulok, Thailand. The event was attended by more than 40 participants from various countries including the United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Philippines, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Attendees from the Philippines included representatives from Mapúa Malayan Colleges Laguna (MMCL), Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) through the Ateneo Intellectual Property Office (AIPO): Dr Proceso Fernandez Jr, Mr Steve Chaves, Ms Mariela Alcaparas, Ms Wilma Alamar, together with the Ateneo Institute for Sustainability (AIS), Mr Daniel Ratilla.

Photo: Philippine delegation for SECRA Thailand (SECRA, 2023)

The workshop aimed to strengthen the University-Enterprise Collaboration (UEC) in Asia to promote community resilience through engaging in various group activities to identify best practices, challenges and opportunities in university-enterprise collaboration. Activities included identifying the roles of each player in collaboration developing recommendations on how to promote collaboration such as providing capacity building programs for both sectors. Moreover, the workshop served as a networking opportunity for participants which is crucial in building a network of like-minded individuals who can work towards promoting community resilience in Asia.

With the ASEAN region being prone to natural disasters, economic instability and social conflicts, collaboration between universities and enterprises is crucial in building resilient communities. Universities can provide the necessary expertise, research and knowledge while enterprises can contribute funding, technology and business know-how. The participants shared success stories and challenges encountered in their respective countries. For example, Thailand shared their experiences in engaging local communities in disaster risk reduction through collaboration between the academe, government and private sector. Sri Lanka also shared their challenges in promoting entrepreneurship in the country due to lack of resources and government support.

Photo: Plenary session during the SECRA workshop (SECRA, 2023)

Overall, the SECRA workshop in Thailand was a success. Building on this, the next workshop will be held in the Philippines in October 2023. Participants will have the opportunity to present the policy briefs they have completed and report on their progress in implementing the work packages of the SECRA program.

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