LMI Annual Scientific Symposium Yangon, Myanmar December 12 - 13, 2019

Over 100 researchers and scientists from the U.S. and the five countries of the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) – Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam – gathered for the LMI Young Scientist Program annual symposium in Yangon December 12-13.

Forty young scientists from the five Lower Mekong countries presented their collaborative research to improve health and environmental sustainability in the Lower Mekong region. Participants in the Symposium represented academia, industry, government and non-profit organizations from the U.S. and the five Lower Mekong countries.

“The United States wants more young scientists from Myanmar and throughout the Lower Mekong region to work together to find innovative solutions to cross-border environmental and health challenges,” U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission George Sibley said. Together with Ministry of Education Chairman of the National Education Policy Commission, Prof. Dr. Myo Kywe, Deputy Chief of Mission Sibley spoke during the opening session of the second annual Young Scientist Symposium on December 12.

George Sibley, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy in Myanmar (left); Prof. Dr. Myo Kywe, Chairman, National Education Policy Commission (right)

The Annual Scientific Symposium gives participants in the LMI Young Scientist Program an opportunity to compete for an annual seed grant of up to $15,000 USD to develop their collaborative research projects. The 33 young scientists who participated in the 2019 Young Scientists Program presented their collaborative research through poster shows and discussions during the event. The LMI Young Scientists Program promotes equitable, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth through education, science, and technology. Arizona State University (ASU) implements the LMI Young Scientists Program.

Poster Session

During the Symposium, participants heard from Dr. Mahlet Mesfin, who delivered her keynote address on using science as a mechanism for diplomacy. “The universal language of science and its common pursuit of knowledge to understand the world, has great potential to build relationships, bridges, and dialogue across divides and provide solutions to addressing national and global challenges," said Dr. Mahlet Mesfin, Visiting Scholar at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

Dr. Mahlet Mesfin, Visiting Scholar, Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement

A highlight of the event was the presentation of the young scientists’ research projects through concurrent technical tracks and discussions. Presentations included academic research projects in energy, health, water, and sustainability, as well as innovative solutions to community-based projects developed throughout the summer program. These applied projects included: a dengue outbreak prediction model, a tool to manage outbreaks, tools to map and identify mosquitoes, and diagnose dengue at an early stage, as well as education and training programs for health care staff in remote areas.

“Through activities such as the LMI Young Scientists program, Arizona State University is able to share some of the best practices that earned it the title of most innovative school in the U.S. for the past five consecutive years,” said Mr. Jeffrey Goss, Associate Vice-Provost for Southeast Asia Initiatives at ASU.

Jeffrey Goss, Associate Vice Provost for Southeast Asia Initiatives, ASU
Group photo at the Shwedagon Pagoda

See you in Bangkok!

Next year’s summer placement program will take place in Bangkok, Thailand. The 2020 LMI Young Scientist Program will challenge participants to think like entrepreneurs and learn about technology transfer as a key resource for innovation.

Young scientists from the five LMI member countries will learn about building and innovating businesses by licensing the technology invented in their research laboratories.

Interested Master’s and PhD students and recent graduates with advanced research projects on technologies with commercialization potential, are invited to apply. The application process will open in early 2020.

Created By
Jose Quiroga