MANILA, PHILIPPINES - ADB will develop knowledge hubs in selected developing countries throughout the Asia and Pacific region to support and strengthen research and disseminate new development concepts and technologies.
The project will be funded by an ADB technical assistance (TA) grant of US$990,000 with four to six knowledge hubs set up over a two year period, the first two of three by the end of this year. The People's Republic of China, India, and Thailand have expressed interest in being among the first to host such knowledge hubs.
"There is wide understanding that the Asia and Pacific region needs to become innovative and technologically more advanced if it is to continue the high growth rates seen over the last few decades," says Dan Boom, an ADB Principal Knowledge Management Specialist.
"ADB's Asian Development Outlook 2003 identified knowledge as the most important resource in maintaining the region's competitiveness, given the rapid rate of change created by globalization and technological innovation."
About four to six organizations and institutions will be tapped to serve as knowledge hubs or centers of excellence on emerging development topics, such as clean development mechanism, use of compressed natural gas and hybrid technologies in the transport sector, renewable energy, environmental technology, information and communications technology, as well as management techniques.
ADB will provide the technical and training support needed to build the capacity of the selected organizations to capture, generate, and disseminate knowledge, as well as to translate national and international knowledge for local or regional use.
To ensure high synergy and knowledge sharing, these knowledge hubs will be linked with each other, as well as with relevant national organizations. To promote regional cooperation and integration, they will collaborate with existing knowledge networks in the region.
Further, they will be linked to international academic and research organizations to improve their access and capacity to learn and adapt the latest international development concepts to regional or local needs and demands.
"It is envisioned that these knowledge hubs will become reservoirs of expertise, providing decision makers and the development community in Asia and the Pacific with up-to-date knowledge products and services tailored to client or regional needs," adds Mr. Boom.