Two relevant recent developments in the area of science and technology (S&T) and related policy-making motivate this article: First, bibliometric data on a specific research area’s performance becomes an increasingly relevant source for S&T policy-making and evaluation. This trend is embedded in wider discussions on evidence-based policy-making. Secondly, the scientific output of Southeast Asian countries is rising, as is the number of international research collaborations with the second area of our interest: Europe. Against this background, we employ basic bibliometric methodology in order to draw a picture of Southeast Asian research strengths as well the amount and focus of S&T cooperation between the countries in Southeast Asia and the European Union. The results can prove useful for an interested public as well as for the scientific community and science, technology and innovation policy-making.
In the last two decades, hand-in-hand with strong economic growth, Southeast Asia has experienced a strengthened academic community as well as an increase in public and private research and development. But, because the level of research activity and maturity of the research environment in Southeast Asian countries is varied and has been changing rapidly in recent years, public perceptions of the amount and relevance of the research output can often be inaccurate. This gives particular emphasis to the need for data to support decisions concerning collaborative research programmes.