28 September 2023

Explore the Future and Potentials of University-Industry Collaboration in the 6th ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference

Ninnart Ratanasukhon
AUN Programme Officer;

The 6th ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference was convened on 20-21 September 2023 at Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia, with  73 participants from 30 universities across 11 countries in attendance.

 As a university top administrator platform, the ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference serves as an important opportunity for leaders of Member Universities within the ASEAN+3 University Network to explore the opportunity to strengthen partnerships, share good practices, and discuss views on potential multilateral collaborations.

This year, the 6th ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference is set under the theme of “the Role of University Collaboration within ASEAN+3 Framework on Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem,” with discussion sessions on university-industry collaborations and innovation-accelerating ecosystem at its centre stage.

University-industry linkage is known to be a partnership that holds countless potential. However, putting that partnership to practise and make the most out of it can be easier said than done. Thus, with a line-up of speakers from both the higher education institutions and the industry, the Meeting discussed some of the key questions of university-industry partnership such as: How can universities kick-start or sustain industry partnership? How can higher education institutions contribute to the growth of industry? What industry is looking for in their partnership with higher education institutions? And more.


Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nasih

Welcoming delegates from universities and industry to the Meeting is Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nasih, Rector of Universitas Airlangga. Prof. Dr. Nasih expressed his warmest welcome to all participants who came together to discuss the critical theme of the Role of University Collaboration within ASEAN+3 Framework on Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem. He stressed that, with the evolving global landscape where challenges such as emerging diseases and climate change pose new questions for society to address, it is essential that higher education institutions of the ASEAN+3 University Network come together and collaborate. The advancing deadline of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in 2030 also posed a call for higher education institutions to actively work together to be the driver behind the achievement of the Goals. Prof. Dr. Nasih also called to attention the hexa helix model of collaboration, which brings together universities and various stakeholders to address global crises. Such a multi-sectoral and holistic approach lays a foundation for initiatives that are concrete and meaningful to the real-world situation. In his conclusion, Prof. Dr. Nasih reaffirmed UNAIR’s commitment to the mission of AUN and expressed his hope that the members’ spirit of cooperation would persist and continue to benefit and make substantial contributions to the global community.


Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti

Prof. Dr. Nasih was followed by Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, the Executive Director of the ASEAN University Network, who provided the audience with a brief recap on the origin of the ASEAN+3 University Network, its flagship youth activities, and working platforms such as the ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations’ Meeting and the ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference. He emphasised the role of each platform as a component that makes AUN a ‘one-stop-shop’ for higher education institutions' collaboration at the institutional and regional level, with the ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference where the top administrators could meet, discuss, and explore potential collaborations is needed and the ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations’ Meeting as the drivers of collaborative projects who turn the ideas discussed at the ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference into results. He also expressed appreciation to all the members who made good use of the platforms and to Universitas Airlangga for making the 6th return of this platform possible.


Prof. Dr. Zhang Zongyi

The participants also got to hear from Prof. Dr. Zhang Zongyi, President of Xiamen University, the host of the next ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations’ Meeting in April 2024. Prof. Dr. Zhang expressed his appreciation for the ASEAN+3 University Network for playing a crucial role in harnessing the collective strength of the region and promoting collaboration among its members. Xiamen University joined the Network in 2007 and has benefited tremendously from the strong bond of friendship and partnership forged together within the Network. With the ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations’ Meeting set to take off in April 2024 at Xiamen University, he re-emphasised Xiamen University’s commitment to expanding its partnership with higher education institutions across the ASEAN and East Asian region and extended his welcome to all the members for the ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations’ Meeting in Xiamen.


Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih

To kick-start the discussions, Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih, M.Si, Vice-Rector of Universitas Airlangga, delivered a keynote speech under the title of “University Best Practice on Fostering Collaboration with Industry through Hexa Helix Model of Innovations,” demonstrating Universitas Airlangga’s successful collaboration with industry and multiple stakeholders during the covid-19 pandemic.

As researchers of Universitas Airlangga worked to develop vaccination and medication for the COVID-19 pandemic, Universitas Airlangga extended its reach to stakeholders from upstream to downstream to ensure the successful delivery of their researched vaccination and medication. During the development of the vaccines, Universitas Airlangga worked with the government, the industry, the communities of healthcare providers, mass media, and legal institutions in the hexa-helix model of collaboration, with all stakeholders contributing to the success of the research and support for the local communities during the time of the pandemic.

With Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman setting the tone of the Conference, participants delved into deeper discussions on the future and potentials of university-industry collaborations in a series of panel discussions under the two main topics of “Higher Education Institutions Collaborative Framework in Sustaining Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem” and “Sustaining Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem through Regional Collaboration.”

The speakers who illuminated the discussion sessions with their insights included:

Session 1. Higher Education Institutions Collaborative Framework in Sustaining Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem


(From left to right) Dr. Andi Hermansyah, Prof. Yasutomo Nasu, and Mr. Edy Sraya

Session 1.1 “Advancing Industry Linkages with Community Empowerment-Oriented Mobility Programme Design”

  • Speaker 1: Edy Sraya, Semen Group Indonesia
  • Speaker 2: Prof. Yasutomo Nasu, President, Okayama University
  • Speaker 3: Andi Hermansyah, PhD, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universitas Airlangga


(From left to right) Prof. Dato' Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Dr. Cho Hyunsug, and Dr. Kusdiantoro

Session 1.2 “Advancing Innovation Through Inclusive Research on Blue Economy”

  • Speaker 1: Dr. Kusdiantoro, S.Pi, M.Sc, Secretary of Directorate General of Marine Spatial and Ocean Management, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries
  • Speaker 2: Dr. Cho Hyunsug, Vice President of the Industrial-Academic Cooperation Group, Daejeon University
  • Speaker 3: Professor Dato' Ir. Dr. Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Vice-Chancellor, Universiti Malaya


Assoc. Prof. Liu Peng (left) and Mr. Marcelo Tarkieltaub (right)

Session 2. Sustaining Innovation and Industry Acceleration Ecosystem through Regional Collaboration

  • Speaker 1: Marcelo Tarkieltaub, Regional Director Rockwell Automation South East Asia
  • Speaker 2: Assoc. Prof. Liu Peng, Deputy Director, Office of International Cooperation and Exchange, Yunnan University


Prof. Sze Tiam Lin

Joining the panellists was Prof. Sze Tiam Lin, Senior Licensing Advisor, Institute of Innovation & Entrepreneurship (IIE), Singapore Management University, who provided the participants with an update from the 4th AUN-UIE Annual Meeting, concluded recently on 14 September 2023 at Singapore Management University, Singapore, on Day 2 of the conference.


Ms. Cleo Cachapero

The Meeting also welcomed Ms. Cleo Cachapero, Senior Project Executive at ASEF Education Department, who came to share the outcomes of the dialogue workshop “Working Toward SDGs: Mapping University and Student Perspectives in ASEAN,” concluded on 18 July 2023.

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Prof. Tae-hyun Kim

ASEAN+3_Pic 10.JPG

Prof. Nguyen Huu Duc

Last but not least, Prof. Tae-hyun Kim, the Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness, and Prof. Nguyen Huu Duc, Founder and Principal of the UPM Rating System and UPM Innovation Institute, came to share with the Meeting “World's Universities with Real Impact (WURI) Ranking” and “University Performance Metrics (UPM),” alternative benchmarking systems for universities.

The participants also had the opportunity to explore potential collaborations with local industry in an industry site visit.

The Conference reflected the ASEAN+3 University Network’s readiness to advance forward with cross-sectoral collaborations with industry and various other stakeholders in the post-pandemic world. 

In the upcoming weeks, AUN has prepared a series of coverage to take you on a deep dive into what was discussed during the conference and how the members of the ASEAN+3 University Network are building bridges and forging ties for success. Stay tuned to the AUN Website and AUN E-Newsletter to be the first to know.