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ThaiVacc
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Success story: ThaiVacc

This project aims to develop Novel Leptospirosis and Dengue Fever Vaccines for Thailand. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation
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The Project:

Vaccination is one of the most effective strategies for the prevention and control of infectious diseases. However, not all vaccine are currently available in Thailand, particularly those for endemic diseases. This is in part due to low incidence and a lack of public information, but cost also plays an important factor, as most commercially available vaccines are imported, and too expensive for the general public to afford.

 The ThaiVacc project aims to address this issue through the research and development of vaccines for leptospirosis and dengue fever. By working with an international team of researchers in Thailand, Switzerland and France,  the project will not only help in strengthening the potential in vaccine research and development in Thailand, but will allow for knowledge and technology transfer between project partners in Europe and Southeast Asia.

The Science:

The project will be focused on the following activities:

  • Investigating the use of adjuvant systems in order to enhance the immunogenic properties of new multiple subunit vaccines for leptospirosis and suitable tetravalent DNA vaccine for dengue fever to allow higher immunogenicity and enhanced protection.
  • Developing new oral vaccination approaches against leptospirosis and dengue, which combine M-cell targeting strategies and specific mucosal adjuvants.
  • Organizing a workshop on mucosal vaccination in Chulalongkorn University, with the collaboration of Swiss and French partners.

The Team:

The ThaiVacc partners are:

Contact:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kanitha Patarakul, MD, PhD: Kanitha.Pa@chula.ac.th

 

***The 2nd Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme is now open! Click here for the full details.***

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RESCuE
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Success story: RESCuE

The project will undertake monitoring and restoration for sustainable coastal ecosystems. It was funded under the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia - Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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The Project:

Mangroves are forests that grow along saline coastal areas with tropical and subtropical climates, and are a crucial part of the natural ecosystem throughout Southeast Asia. They are an indispensable natural resource; mangroves not only act as ‘nurseries’ for marine species and huge carbon storage areas, but they also protect coastal areas from erosion, storms and tsunamis.

Unfortunately, mangroves have come under significant threat from industrial practices, such as shrimp farming and logging, as well as pollutants, chemicals and temperature stress. In Thailand, mangroves have been reduced by almost 50% over the past 4 decades,

The RESCuE project will work to mitigate mangrove forest loss and degradation in Thailand and Vietnam. It will do this by developing databases to understand, conserve and rehabilitate mangrove areas. The team will then work with local communities to identify areas which are suitable for replanting mangroves, and hold trainings and workshops for local practitioners to ensure that the coastal ecosystem management in Thailand and Mekong delta of Vietnam remain sustainable in the future.

The Science

The project will undertake the following activities:

  • Developing suitable decision-making tools for mapping and monitoring distribution of mangrove communities and cover loss in the conservation zone using satellite and ground survey data:
  • Estimating the mangrove community aboveground carbon stock and its dynamics
  • Providing decision support tools for the design of rehabilitation measures
  • Developing site-specific recommendations for rehabilitation projects to policy makers
  • To recommend the suitable model for ecosystem services in the coastal areas
  • Strengthening the capacity of local forest practitioners and disseminating knowledge of local communities via short training and meetings

The Team:

The RESCuE partners are:

Contact:

Prof. Valery Gond  (valery.gond@cirad.fr)

 

***The 2nd Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme is now open! Click here for the full details.***

PlasmID-SEA
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Success Story: PlasmID-SEA

This project will use smartphone-based microscopy to study antibiotic resistance. It was funded under the 1st Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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The Project:

Patients suffering from serious infections which cannot be cured with standard treatments are prescribed so called ‘last-resort’ antibiotics, such as carbapenem and colistin. They are used only when all other drug options have failed, and can be vital for saving lives.

However, with growing concern over antibiotic resistance, studies are needed to ensure infections can be safely controlled in the future.

The PlasmID-SEA project will use state-of-the-art smartphone-based microscopy to study plasmids that cause carbapenem and colistin resistance, and will use this information for infection control, epidemiological studies and diagnostics.

The Science:

This project will study plasmids which cause resistance against carbapenem and colistin antibiotics in Southeast Asia. To do this, the researchers will use a modern technique, based on optical DNA mapping, to analyse single plasmids through smartphone-based microscopy. The assay will then be transferred to a smartphone-based instrument, thus guaranteeing its long-term sustainable use in the region.

The Team:

The PlasmID-SEA partners are:

Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden https://www.karolinska.se/en

Contact:

Fredrik Westerlund: fredrikw@chalmers.se

***The 2nd Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme is now open! Click here for the full details.***

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CWSSEA
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Success story: CWSSEA

This project will studying the effects of climatic water stress on mature and secondary forests in Southeast Asia. It was funded under the 1st Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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Background:

Forests are the carbon banks of the world, playing a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and ensuring that ecosystems and soil are enriched and productive.  

However, the forests of many Southeast Asian countries, including in Thailand, have undergone significant deforestation in recent decades, while the effects of climate change also mean that incidents of climatic water stress - such as droughts and rising temperatures – will become more frequent and severe in the future.

This double threat could lead to rising mortality in the tropical monsoon forests of Southeast Asia. This would mean lower biodiversity, worsening climate change, and damage to entire ecosystems, resulting in real-life effects on human well-being.

The Project:

The CWSSEA (Climatic Water Stress – Southeast Asia) project will study the functioning of tropical forests, particularly secondary forests in Thailand, and assess how they will respond to climatic water stress and the potential impacts of future climate scenarios in these ecosystems.

This information will then assist in creating model predictions on the long-term scenarios of climate change impacts on forest ecosystem services, and influence future global policies to combat climate change.

The Science:

The researchers will measure canopy transpiration, which is frequently used to estimate canopy stomatal conductance; a central variable in modeling the uptake of carbon by forests. Measurements will be made in both mature and secondary forests, which in turn will allow for the investigation of species-specific responses to water stress by assessing tree hydraulics and drought vulnerability of the dominant species in each forest type.

The team will also explore the degree of soil water partitioning among species within each forest to provide a more mechanistic understanding of how individual trees are able to overcome drought stress.

Taken together, this will be one of the first studies to quantify canopy transpiration, tree hydraulics and drought vulnerability as well as the mechanisms dominant tree species in both mature and secondary tropical forests use to overcome drought stress, which will provide the necessary information to more accurately predict how climate change will affect the carbon and water cycle in tropical forests.

The Team:

The CWSSEA partners are:

Contact:

Pantana Tor-ngern: Pantana.t@chula.ac.th

 

***The 2nd Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme is now open! Click here for the full details.***

 

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FNRS Belgium Joins 2nd Joint Call after ANR France and BMBF Germany

After the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) now also the Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) Belgium has joined the 2nd Joint Call for Proposals.
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Important

The Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) Belgium, the French National Research Agency (ANR) and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) have joined the 2nd Joint Call for Proposals after the official launch of the call on 18 June 2018. Belgian, French and German applicants are now eligible for funding in both thematic areas of the call namely bioeconomy and infectious diseases. For the update and national regulations please go to the call section.

 

 

SEA JFS logo
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2nd Joint Call in the thematic areas Bioeconomy and Infectious Diseases launched!

The 2nd Joint Call under the SEA-Europe JFS in the two thematic areas BIOECONOMY and INFECTIOUS DISEASES has been launched. Deadline for the submission of proposals is 18 September 2018.
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Important

On 18 June 2018 the 2nd Joint Call under the SEA-Europe JFS in the two thematic areas BIOECONOMY and INFECTIOUS DISEASES has been launched.

16 funding agencies and ministries from 14 countries have so far confirmed their participation and it is expected that more countries will announce their participation soon. Please re-visit on a regular basis to get the latest news about additional funders.

For the call text and national regulations, please visit our call section.

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 18 September 2018.

Climate Resistant Rice
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Success story: 'Climate-Resilient Rice' in Thailand and Laos

This project aims to strengthen rice breeding programs in Laos and Thailand and develop climate-resilient rice varieties. It was funded under the 1st Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for Science and Innovation.
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The project:

Rice is a staple food for more than half of the world’s population, and one of the major crops for both consumption and as a commodity in Southeast Asia. However, it is also vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and increased temperatures worldwide are predicted to cause reduced crop yields in the future.  

To counteract this, the Climate-ResilientRice project (CRR) aims to strengthen rice breeding programs in Thailand and Laos, so that crops will be able to withstand the effects of climate change, and even enhance production under adverse conditions.

CRR has been funded through the 1st Call of the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme for for Research and Innovation (JFS) and brings together a team from both regions to tackle this pressing issue.

The Science:

The project will use a varietal improvement process based on the most advanced knowledge of traits which are affected by climate change, such as  high temperatures (that cause yield losses due to rice flowers’ sterility), and use proven methods of marker-assisted selection on a state of the art breeding data-management system.

It will also make use of complementary experimental facilities, including field and greenhouse phenotyping facilities in NAFRI/BIOTEC, respectively, growth chamber facility mimicking high temperature at CIRAD, and molecular marker lab at BIOTEC.

The Team:

The CRR project partners are:

  • Rice Gene Discovery Unit, BIOTEC, NSTDA, Pathumthani, Thailand; http://www.biotec.or.th/en (Project Coordinator)
  • Agriculture Research Center (ARC),National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Vientianne, Laos ; www.nafri.org.la
  • French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), Montpellier, France; https://www.cirad.fr

Contact:

Jonaliza L. Siangliw: jonaliza.sia@biotec.or.th

 

***The 2nd Call of the SEA-Europe Joint Funding Scheme is now open! Click here for the full details.***

 

Service Facility Team meets with Indonesian Science Fund
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Training at the Indonesian Science Fund to take over role of the call secretariat

From 7-11 May 2018 the EC's International Service Facility Team gave a training to the Indonesian Science Fund in Jakarta/Indonesia which is the candidate to host the call secretariat for the 2nd Joint Call.
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From 7-11 May 2018 the EC's International Service Facility Team gave a training to the  Indonesian Science Fund (ISF) in Jakarta/Indonesia which is the candidate to host the call secretariat for the 2nd Joint Call.

The training went through all steps of the implementation of a Joint Call ranging from the moderation of the selection of topics to the evaluation procedure to the funding decision meeting. ISF's Team successfully mastered the training and now well prepared to host the upcoming 2nd Joint Call for Proposals.  

H2020 Naypyidaw
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EU delegation presents opportunities for collaboration at 17th ASEAN STI Meeting

Horizon 2020 and Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme presented to ASEAN STI ministries in Naypyidaw, Myanmar
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A delegation of EU representatives presented the many opportunities available for increasing collaboration between Southeast Asian and European researchers at the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, on 19th October 2017.

The delegation, led by Konstantinos Glinos of the European Commission, highlighted the similarities between the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) and EU STI policy objectives, and presented the many avenues for collaboration open to researchers, including Horizon 2020, information services offered by EURAXESS, and opportunities for jointly funded SEA-EU projects through the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS).

The delegation announced the upcoming calls for Horizon 2020 funding (the new Work Programme 2018-2020 was published on October 29 – visit this link), and presented the preliminary outcomes of the 1st call of the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS) which had taken place on 16-17 October in Bangkok, Thailand.

In addition to this, a number of side events took place to further promote SEA-EU collaboration in science, technology and innovation. During the Ministerial Meeting, the delegation engaged in a number of bilateral discussions with Thai and Vietnamese funding agencies, while a European Union booth at the ASEAN STI week promoted all of the mentioned opportunities to interested researchers. The JFS Secretariat also held a side-event on the 20 October for representatives of ASEAN funding agencies which would be interested in participating in future JFS calls.

The JFS Scientific Council in Bangkok
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SEA-EU Joint Funding Scheme holds successful funding decision meeting in Bangkok

First JFS Joint Call results in securing commitments to fund 10 projects
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The first Joint Call of the Southeast Asia-Europe Joint Funding Scheme (JFS) for research and innovation has succeeded in securing commitments to fund 10 projects, which will bring together research teams from both regions to tackle some of the most pressing issues faced today in the fields of health and climate change. 

The meetings of the JFS Scientific Committee and Programme Steering Committee were held in Bangkok, Thailand, on the 16 and 17 October respectively, and were attended by representatives from many research funding agencies from across South East Asia and Europe.The meetings were hosted by the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) Thailand and the  Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS).

In this first call, two areas of research were selected for funding; firstly projects related to health, focusing specifically on anti-microbial drug resistance and emerging infectious diseases, and secondly, on projects relating to the environment and climate change which have a specific focus on adaptation / resilience of food production systems, and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and biodiversity.

The successful proposals were announced in December, and are expected to start in the early months of 2018. Given the considerable success of the 1st Call, the JFS Secretariat received unanimous support from those present to hold a 2nd Call in 2018. It is hoped that this continuation will attract even more participating countries and funding agencies from both regions to fund many more joint projects in the future.