A knowledge-transfer project centred on small businesses in ASEAN countries will include a series of meetings at Victoria University with researchers from four countries.
The $75,000 project, funded by the Australia-ASEAN Council (ACC) of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will also provide a forum for a group of small business owners to present-first-hand experiences of technology use within their firms.
The first in a series of meetings will be a five-day intensive workshop in mid-March with academics from Mahidol University International College (Thailand): De La Salle University (Philippines); and University Malaysia Terengganu (Malaysia).
VU project participants, Dr Carmine Sellitto, Associate Professor Stephen Burgess, and Dr Rafael Paguio – all from the University’s College of Business – will generate an information toolkit from the workshop reflecting research and practical aspects on the theme of small business adoption of digital technology.
"The information toolkit will be used by the ASEAN-based academics to inform reciprocal workshops in each of their home universities," said Dr Sellitto.
The Melbourne workshop will also bring together doctoral students from several Victorian-based universities to present their research on small business use of technology.
The project, entitled ASEAN Academic Partnerships for Small business and ICT Knowledge Transfer, directly addresses one of the key features in VU’s strategic plan to commit to targeted international engagement, especially in Asia.
The project program was developed in 2016 by VU academics in conjunction with the ASEAN-based academics.
Dr Sellitto said collectively, the project will build closer ties between all the participating universities, and foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the value of small business operators adopting and using digital technology.
ASEAN is a regional organisation comprising of ten states in Southeast Asia.