Science, Technology and Innovation Policy in Myanmar:Action Plans for Collaboration on Research Work among Universities, Research Institutes and Industries (URI)
By Dr. Ei Ei Htwe1 , Dr. Phyu Phyu Win2
1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mandalay Technological University (MTU), Mandalay, Myanmar
2 Chemical Technology Research Center (CTRC), Department of Research and Innovation (DRI), Yangon, Myanmar
National and international economic investment is always growing up in terms of political, social, economic changes and transition of government administration in Myanmar. Regarding the improvement of socio- economic development, Myanmar youths have to be skillful, energetic and competent to work in private sector as well as civil society. Hence, tracking the effect of technology transformation in the world is necessarily required to access for the development of up- to- date technology. The most important one is to set up National Council for Science, Technology and Innovation Development (NCSTID) to be in-line with modern science and technology across ASEAN region. In order to promote science and technology in all sectors, research and development need to be enhanced with multi-driven incentives and reward system for researchers who contribute frontier research for our society.of developed countries is the back bone of economy, communication, transportation, health, national security in terms of contribution on development of Myanmar. Research and development is the transition to commercialization of new product or innovation. Due to lack of awareness on R&D of genetic resource product, Myanmar could not compete with commercialization product of our neighbor countries. That is why, the collaboration on research work among universities, research institutes and industries is crucial in Myanmar to produce value-added product of natural resources. One of the fellowship plans is to set up URI collaboration guideline and network directory of research facilities for engineering and research.
QUESTIONNAIRES SURVEY ON URI COLLABORATION
Through the fellowship program, fellow submitted questionnaires form of University, Research Institute and Industry (URI) collaboration practices to concern ministries and industries. According to the feedback of questionnaires survey, the comments from Universities, Research Institutes and Industries had been received on a number of 38 universities, 7 research institutes and 2 industries in the national level. Based on the surveyed results, universities have currently collaborated with industries on the consulting, collaborative research, academic entrepreneurship in the most areas while industries desired to work in spinoffs or licensing and collaborative research as priority.
Moreover, universities and research institutes provide 31% on technology, 22% on R&D, 19% on training for employee, 18% on skilled worker and 10% on resources for research while industries expect 31% on technology, 7% on R&D, 31% on training for employee, 23% on skilled worker and 8% on resources for research based on the surveyed data.
BARRIERS FOR IMPLEMENTATION
During negotiation on “Draft guideline of URI collaboration” with the industries, they are less interest to give feedback comments on the technology of their products based on review process on the questionnaires survey. Obviously, it was found that financial barriers and insufficient political support of government for S&T and R&D was the main challenges issue in private sector. Therefore, government needs to support politically empower to NCSTID as well as private sector by providing incentives on R&D budget allocation and research grants for researchers in order to promote R&D and innovation in firms. On the evidence outcomes of review process on STI policy, statistics and analysis data of S&T concerned ministries could not provide reliable data to formulate STIpolicy. Due to lack of awareness and weakness of networking on URI collaboration, most industries did not give much interest to participate in one day workshop of URI collaboration practices.
ACTION PLANS FOR URI COLLABORATION ON STI DEVELOPMENT
National STI policy in Myanmar has been revised to expand technology transfer activities of R&D in industries, establish national award to researchers for outstanding accomplishments in the area of frontier research, promote scientific exchanges with other countries as part of the award, invest in R&D expenditure on certain percentage ofGDP by comparing with the other ASEAN countries in order to improve R&D outcomes in Myanmar.Draft guideline of URI collaboration has been submitted to universities, research institutes of MOE, MOI, MOHS, MOALI and non-government organizations (UMFCCI, MIA, SMEs, MES, JICA) after getting approval from government stakeholders.
At the national level, setting up the directory for URI linkages has been collected from “research facilities for engineering” of 17 technological universities and “research facilities and laboratory services for research” of 7 research institutes in Myanmar. Furthermore, directory for engineering (Myanmar) has been launched on online for free download on http://www.seed-net-ui.org/partner organized by AUN/SEED-Net, JICA while directory of research facilities and laboratory services is designed to launch in host department websitehttp://www.dri.gov.mm.