Regional innovation hub on MHEW

Work package: Development

Reference: 4

WP4 will develop regional innovation infrastructure to promote scientific cooperation and knowledge transfer. This will seek to stimulate EU-Asia and Asia-Asia peer-to-peer cooperation by bringing together experts, including academia, government and civil society, on MHEW issues. It will promote the piloting and testing of locally prioritised actions for MHEW and communicate results and lessons through regional knowledge networks.

WP4 will also support innovation in HE at the regional level towards reaching the most remote and vulnerable population with timely, meaningful, and actionable warning information. Several gaps persist due to weak coordination among the actors and agencies concerned at the national and regional level, low public awareness and participation as well as insufficient political commitment. Additional efforts are needed to institutionalise and strengthen multi‐hazard, end‐to‐end, people‐centred EWS for all communities, and to deliver warnings from one authoritative source or “voice”, as wellas as to address key gaps such as cascading consequences. WP4 will provide a context to catalyse new collaborative projects, connect perspectives, and build capabilities through training and courses.


4.1 Establish regional innovation hub

The project will create a regional innovation network on MHEW that will assist in strengthening MHEW Systems at all levels in Asia, while also facilitating knowledge transfer with Europe and other regions. The network will seek to influence policy and decision-making processes as means to meet the cognitive and normative challenges in positioning MHEW systems and preparedness in the wider context of social change in the coastal societies and communities at risk. Thematic areas will be identified to promote innovation, and disseminate knowledge, lessons learnt and experiences. The forum will also seek to further stakeholder engagement, capacity building and knowledge sharing, building upon the priorities identified in the regional position paper. The network will achieve its objectives through sandpit events, short term scientific missions and training workshops. The network will be self-directed by its members, initially drawn from partner representatives. A terms of reference and work plan will be developed by the partners to govern the network. The network will also provide a means to sustain the regional cooperation after the CABARET project has finished.

4.2 Host sandpit events

The sandpits will be residential interactive workshops over multiple days and participants from across the partners, as well as socio-economic actors. The sandpits will have a highly multidisciplinary mix of participants, including users of potential HE outcomes, to drive lateral thinking and radical approaches to address major regional challenges in MHEW, whether they be related to policy, research or education.

The sandpits will be intensive discussion forums where free thinking is encouraged to delve into the problems on the agenda to uncover innovative solutions. Each sandpit is led by a nominated representative from the partnership who defines the topic and facilitates discussions at the event.

The process will include: Defining the scope of the issue; Agreeing a common language and terminology amongst diverse backgrounds and disciplines; Sharing understanding of the problem participants' expertise; Using creative and innovative thinking techniques in break-out sessions to focus on a problem; Turning sandpit outputs into a project or defined action.

A variety of outcomes are envisaged, ranging from a single large research project, to several smaller projects, feasibility studies, networking activities, overseas visits and so on. Outcomes are not pre-determined, but will be defined during the sandpit.

4.3 Facilitate short term scientific missions

Selected staff from partners will benefit from meaningful exposure to the other institutions. The missions will be intra and inter-regional, including Asia-Asia and Asia-Europe, exposing staff to different cultures and a range of stakeholders, including private enterprises (including SMEs), non-profit or charitable organisations, international organisations, and national & local governments with a focus on scientific/ technological knowledge through individual/personalised projects. Selection procedures including key dates, who can apply, how to apply, what information needs to be submitted along with the application, assessment procedures will be established which are open, efficient, transparent, supportive and internationally comparable, as well as tailored to the type of opportunities available.  

4.4 Deliver innovation training workshops

A series of face-to-face and virtual training workshops will be held in Asia and the UK. The precise content will be developed based on the regional position paper (WP1). The training will seek to optimize open knowledge sharing on MHEW at the regional level. It will also foster the capacity of partners to use and learn from the latest innovation expertise and methodologies. The workshops will support capacity development with an increasing emphasis on expanding collaborative and networking functions and mechanisms.