LOS BAÑOS, Laguna (May 25) — The two-day conference of the regional ICT-Asia program of France kicked off today at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). The event is held annually to help enhance the capability of Asian countries in the field of information and communication technology (ICT).
The event is jointly organized by the French government through its embassy in the Philippines and Delegation for Regional Cooperation — ASEAN and the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) Regional Science Bureau for Asia and Pacific based in Jakarta Indonesia; and hosted by SEARCA, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
The regional workshop looks to strengthen, on the basis of mutual benefit, high-level scientific cooperation on ICT with emerging and developed Asian nations.
ICT-Asia contributes to regional integration by driving a search for excellence and support for scientific communities in Asia, with a strong focus on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ICT-Asia 2015 focuses on four themes: Climate Change Modeling and Monitoring, Disaster Risk Reduction, ICT Applications to Food Security, and the Urban and Rural Informatics.
ICT Experts from France, ASEAN Member States, Japan, South Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, among others, are among the official participants of the regional workshop. Representatives from French and Asian public and private institutons supporting research and development (R&D), regional cooperation and networking in ICT field are also participating.
A press conference with His Excellency Gilles Garachon, Ambassador of France to the Philippines and the other speakers at the opening program, namely: Dr. Amelia P Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology; Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr., SEARCA Director; Mr. André de Bussy, Counsellor for Regional Cooperation — ASEAN, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France; Dr. Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr., UPLB Chancellor, Professor Kanchana Kanchnasut, Vice President for Research, Asian Institute of Technology; Dr. Luc Le Calvez, Director of the French National Center for Scientific Research; and Dr. Jean-Pascal Torrenton, Regional Coordinator for Asia, French Institute of Research for Development.
Organizers say that workshop is expected to strengthen a Franco-regional network in ICT and increase the participation of Filipino and other ASEAN scientists in the ICT program.
The project proposals to be presented at the 2015 ICT-Asia conference are envisaged to eventually lead to long-lasting trilateral cooperation and collaboration with international research teams.