Digital Economy

Reflecting the growing importance of the Internet, the 2014 APRU Annual Presidents’ Meeting agreed to work on a joint Initiative on “Digital Economy”. The goal is to bring the academic community in the region into stronger contact with other members of the multi-stakeholder community concerned with the future development of the Internet.   The Keio University International Center for the Internet & Society (KICIS) was selected to develop and coordinate APRU programs under this Initiative.

The APRU has strong capability in the field of Internet science with almost one third of all inductees of the Internet Hall of Fame affiliated to member universities. All East Asian and South East Asian inductees have either studied or worked at a member institution. This result is even outnumbered by APRU-affiliated laureates of the IEEE Internet Award: more than half of the laureates have studied or worked at APRU member universities. Mobilizing the intellectual resources of key universities in the Asia-Pacific on an Internet Economy and Governance agenda is a key challenge that APRU is uniquely positioned to address.

The APRU initiative on the “Digital Economy” reflects APRU’s commitment to help shape the burgeoning regional conversation on the future of the Internet, based on sound, unbiased research and analysis of the issues. It supports the believe that universities in the region have a special and unique role to conduct research research, outreach and capacity building in this area including training and equipping the next generation of Asia Pacific leadership in the Internet policy field.

Joint APRU-Google projects serve as a pillar of new PECC State of the Region Report

Hong Kong, November 30, 2018 —State of the Region Report 2018-2019 by the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) published in mid-November prominently features two current APRU projects on artificial intelligence (AI).

AI Ethics in The Age of AI4Every1

The 2nd meeting of the APRU-Google project, “AI for Everyone: Benefiting from and Building Trust in the Technology,” in collaboration with Keio University and HKUST Big Data Institute (BDI), was concluded on September 1 at HKUST. Co-chaired by AI-experts professors Jiro Kokuryo (Keio) and Toby Walsh (UNSW Sydney), the review of twelve AI-related working papers, focusing on technology awareness, access, governance and development, was the focal point of discussions at the two-day event.

APRU mobilizes its network to inform Asia Pacific policymakers on AI and automation

Amid the on-going debate over how AI and the 4th industrial revolution will affect the future of work in the Asia Pacific region, APRU has been stepping up its efforts to bringing together scholars and private sector experts to analyze and address the affiliated economic risks and reservations. 

After teaming up with Google to explore AI-policy issues in late-2017, the second joint APRU-Google project, Transformation of Work in Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century, has in January passed its first face-to-face meeting involving seven academics from APRU member universities and international institutions across the region.

An AI-Policy Partnership with Google

APRU is partnering with Google to explore AI-policy issues. The undertaking looks at issues of AI governance, its impact on the Asia Pacific, and how society can maximize AI-tech’s potential for an equitable future.

Collaborators from 11 leading research universities from the APRU network are working together on the first project, “AI for everyone: benefitting from and building trust in the technology.” Keio University leads the project, which features AI experts from Australia, East Asia, South East Asia, and the Americas.

A series of working papers, and their resulting policy recommendations, will be published and widely disseminated to governments and civil society. The guidelines aim to contribute policy foresight and provide policy actors with the latest knowledge to guide decision making.

Asia and Europe Dialogue on Growing the Digital Economy

November 6-7, 2017APRU announced the Asia and Europe Dialogue on Growing the Digital Economy in partnership with The Asia Pacific Institute for the Digital Economy. The Association hosted the event at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), John Hopkins University, Washington D.C, to build on its strength and interest in digitization.

The Dialogue explored ways to spur development of the emerging Digital Economy, bringing together Asian and European research. It featured discussions and talks from both governments, experts, and leaders from the private-sector policy circles on the tools needed to manage the developing Digital Economy.

The first in a series, this event in November preceded further discussion at the following sessions in Tokyo (Spring 2018) and Brussels (Fall 2018).

3rd APRU Digital Economy Business Offsite Report

The 2017 APRU Digital Economy Business Offsite was the third in a series of programs launched in 2015 under the leadership of Keio University and the Asia Pacific Institute for the Digital Economy (APIDE).

The Offsite took place at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, from 25-26 May, 2017 with the cooperation of Stanford’s US-Asia Technology Management Center.

The meeting brought together top academic experts on the Digital Economy from the APRU member universities matching academic experts with senior business executives from companies that are at the center of growth and innovation in the region’s Digital Economy.


Over the course of the two-day program, the academics and business representatives exchanged views in a highly interactive environment on the key challenges of the emerging Digital Economy in the Asia Pacific regions. The dialogue took place under the Chatham House rule.

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