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TEIN3's extension to South Asia celebrated at ASEM event in Kuala Lumpurp

08 May 2009 | Cambridge, UK

160 representatives from the 18 TEIN3 partner countries, ministry officials, technical experts, network users and opinion formers convened on 1-2 December 2009 in Kuala Lumpur to attend the ASEM workshop on “Building an Inclusive Information Society”. Held under the patronage of the European Commission and the Malaysian Government, this event was the first major forum for reviewing the status and role of ICT in reducing the digital divide across Asia since the ASEM ICT Ministerial Meeting in Hanoi in November 2006 and the ASEM7 Summit in Beijing in October 2008. The workshop opened with keynote speeches from H.E. Vincent Piket, EC Ambassador to Malaysia, Joakim Ladeborn, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden representing the Swedish EU Presidency, and Dato’ Joseph Salang, Deputy Minister of Information, Communication and Culture of the host country.

The sessions focussed on the role of ICT infrastructure, affordable access and capacity building, drawing on valuable contributions from experts across Asia and Europe.

The programme featured a session devoted to the inauguration of the TEIN3 extension to the South Asian sub-continent, and its already successful track record in bridging the digital divide within research and education in Asia. Perspectives from joining countries such as Sri Lanka and India were presented, along with illustrations of ways in which the TEIN3 network is already enabling users in developing countries to participate in regional and international collaborative programmes, in fields such us environmental monitoring, tele-health, e-learning and crop research.

Looking ahead, strong support for the long-term continuation of the TEIN3 network emerged (click here to view the Final Declaration of the Workshop).

The Workshop was followed by a closed meeting chaired by the European Commission with ministry officials from the TEIN3 partner countries to debate TEIN3 sustainability further. This paved the way for more detailed discussion by the TEIN3 partners at the TEIN3 Technical Committee meeting the following day.

To celebrate the extension of TEIN3 and to demonstrate the speed and scope of TEIN3 and its interconnection to its European counterpart GÉANT, an intercontinental dance performance was staged with traditional Malaysian dancers performing live during the gala dinner in Kuala Lumpur to music created from the sonification of network data, played at the simultaneous GÉANT launch event in Stockholm, Sweden – over 6,000 miles away. Thus, TEIN3 not only contributes to bridging the digital divide across Asia, but also brings people and cultures together across continents!

For further information on the workshop, including a picture gallery and presentations, please visist www.asem-klworkshop.eu.