About us

Academic knowledge that can be applied in society

The aim of the LeidenAsiaCentre is to generate academic knowledge on modern East Asia that can find societal applications in the Netherlands.

Key mission and activities

The LeidenAsiaCentre is the Netherlands’ expertise centre for socially relevant and applicable knowledge on modern East Asia, including Singapore.

The LeidenAsiaCentre actively aims to expand its expertise and to use this in collaboration with a growing number of diverse societal partners, in particular the business sector, the social midfield, the media, governments and academic and non-academic knowledge centres.

The LeidenAsiaCentre achieves this by:

  • Consulting with the societal field in identifying research questions
  • Conducting original academic research, taking into account the needs of partners in society
  • Building and expanding a broad network within the Dutch government, the media, educational institutions, the business sector and the social midfield
  • Disseminating knowledge by means of lectures, conferences, intensive training courses and publications, including web publications.
Societal partners

The LeidenAsiaCentre works together with societal partners in the Netherlands to identify relevant research topics and to formulate the most appropriate – in some cases supplementary – research questions. This will create knowledge that responds to a direct societal need. The Centre itself will be responsible for the research, which will be carried out by independent researchers, other experts and consultants both in and outside the Netherlands. We also collaborate actively with our partners in disseminating the results of this research.

Core themes

The LeidenAsiaCentre organises its research projects and other activities around a number of core themes agreed upon for the coming period, each of which has an average duration of approximately two years. The core themes for 2021-2022 are:

  • Agility in the Face of Change
  • The Challenge of Technological Solutions
  • New Challenges in Communication
  • Shifting Alliances

The advantage of this approach is that projects can concentrate on specific questions, always as far as possible in the context of related projects. The core themes themselves will be further expanded through an integrated approach: within a theme, the different research projects, policy advice, information, education, training and network building will be addressed as a cohesive whole.

Besides the themes that have already been agreed upon, the LeidenAsiaCentre is cooperating with interested parties on developing new themes. Possible options include: ‘social media and internet’, ‘the role of Asia in the world order’, ‘food safety and food security’ or ‘waste and waste processing’.


The LeidenAsiaCentre is funded to a large extent through the Vaes- Elias Fund, managed by the Leiden University Fund (LUF). Apart from this fund, the foundation receives subsidies, grants and donations in exchange for her activities. The supervisory board approves the multi-year budget once every two years, which forms the framework in which projects are being undertaken.

Network building

The LeidenAsiaCentre already has a good network in the Netherlands within central government, the municipalities, the media and the academic world. This network will be further expanded with contacts from the business sector and the social midfield, both in the context of current research projects and through specific networking activities and events.

Training programmes and education

The LeidenAsiaCentre can also provide tailor-made courses and training programmes on request. One example of these kinds of activities is the contribution of the LeidenAsiaCentre to a three-year programme of summer courses to be provided by Leiden University for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aimed at diplomats who will be posted in Asia.

Invitation to collaborate: The LeidenAsiaCentre is open for inputs from third parties concerning suggestions for themes for academic research on Asia. We are also interested in co-organising conferences on relevant themes, and would be pleased to contribute ideas for creating initiatives that can expand and disseminate knowledge about Asia.

The expertise centre for modern Asia in the Netherlands

In what ways is Asia important for the Netherlands, and what does the Netherlands mean for Asia? Our research will contribute to strengthening and improving the relations and understanding between people, organisations and governments in Asia and the Netherlands. The LeidenAsiaCentre focuses primarily on East Asia: China (including Taiwan), Japan, Korea and Singapore. At a later stage we will expand our activities, first to South East Asia and in particular Indonesia, and in the longer term to other Asiatic regions.


If you are interested in our research or in a possible partnership, we invite you to contact us via info@leidenasiacentre.nl
or by telephone: 071-527 2541.