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Welcome to SERI

The Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI) is a non-profit Penang-based think tank and research institute set up in 1997, with a focus on facilitating dynamic and sustainable development for Penang.


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About SERI

SERI has worked hand in hand with successive Penang State Governments, local councils, government-linked agencies and several international organisations including UNDP, CIDA and APO to provide impartial, in-depth analysis and consultancy on a range of socio-economic and environmental issues.

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SERI seeks to encompass the concept of a caring and sharing society, thus incorporating a unique and refreshing approach to the traditional role of a think tank. Its activities concentrate on three main areas – social, economic, and environmental issues. In turn, these are guided by SERI’s three-thrust approach – research, preparation and dissemination of information, as well as facilitation of programs which enhances SERI’s mission.


SERI is partially funded by grants from the Penang State Government and the Penang Development Corporation. It also receives funds from other international organizations on project basis, such as the ABILIS Foundation, Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Royal Netherlands Embassy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pasific (UN-ESCAP).

Our Objectives

  • Conduct socio-economic and environmental studies related and relevant to the development of the State and to recommend policy options that would concur with the principles of sustainable development;
  • Carry out research commissions by private and public sector clients, both local and international;
  • Conduct research and policy analysis as well as strategic planning in Penang.
  • Maintain a comprehensive databank and resource centre in order to facilitate research on the State.
  • Provide a forum for intellectual and professional exchange on critical, current and strategic issues that will have an impact on Penang’s development.
  • Publish and disseminate research findings that would enrich public discourse and promote sustainable development in Penang.
  • Provide support service on socio-economic and environmental programs to the State Government and its agencies.

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