In early 2020, COVID-19 has swept across the globe and posed serious threats to nations worldwide. Amidst this global health crisis, AUN/SEED-Net shares grave concerns with the people around the world and is determined to contribute its expertise and support to alleviate the situation.
For over 17 years, AUN/SEED-Net has nurtured more than 1,400 innovative and highly skilled human resources through providing scholarship programs, and has strengthened the research capacity of MI academic staff by supporting collaborative research among our graduates, researchers, and professors in ASEAN and Japan. With these experiences, AUN/SEED-Net believes that our strength in human resource development, in particular the research capacity enhancement, could be one of the key efforts to help relieve difficulties caused by COVID-19. Therefore, JICA and AUN/SEED-Net, in response to the pandemic crisis, decide to launch a new research support program, entitled “The Special Program for Research against COVID-19 (SPRAC)”.
The program aims for research outputs in any engineering fields or interdisciplinary areas of research that revolves around COVID-19. SPRAC offers opportunities for research collaboration between Member Institutions (MIs), Japanese Supporting Universities (JSUs), industry, and external partners among ASEAN, Japan, South Asia, and Africa. The program also reflects the core value and objective of Japan’s Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIP) and ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific Initiative where stability and prosperity of the international community would be reached through trans-continental cooperation.
- To support research collaboration in novel engineering and interdisciplinary ideas, methods, tools, and technologies that exhibit potential contribution to counter COVID-19 outbreak, including prevention and preparation for future outbreaks
- To support research collaboration that provides solutions to economic and social issues/problems caused by COVID-19
- To strengthen the human network among MIs, JSUs, industrial partners, and external partners in ASEAN, Japan, South Asia, and Africa