Keywords: Asia, small and medium scale industries (SMI), Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sound Technologies (E3ST), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), networking, pollution, SMEs
Networking to promote energy efficient and environmentally sound technologies in small and medium scale industries
In Asia, small and medium scale industries (SMI) account for over 85% of the total number of manufacturing establishments, and contribute considerably to economic growth. They generally employ old and inefficient technologies, consuming high energy and generate pollution. They also lack information on Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sound Technologies (E3ST). Though many institutional bodies promote E3ST in SMIs, there appears to be a lack of coordination and interaction among them. Thus, there is a need to mobilise these institutions to enhance their competence to promote E3ST. Regional and national networks can facilitate such capacity mobilisation, which can help sharing of knowledge, expertise and information related to efficient energy use and reduction in pollution. This could also be useful to other countries. The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) is coordinating a study to promote E3ST in China, India, The Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, in five SMI sectors (brick/ceramics, desiccated coconut, foundry, tea, and textile industries). This is currently being carried out under a Regional Research Program coordinated by the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). A network of research institutions, industrial associations, government and non-governmental organisations conduct research on energy- and pollution-related issues, and promote E3ST in the selected SMI sectors. This paper presents with examples, aspects of networking, promotion of E3ST, and how regional and national networks could promote E3ST in the SMI sector. Illustrations of how networks help in creating awareness, provide capacity enhancement and efficient resource utilisation are also presented.