In order to more systematically develop German-ASEAN science and technology cooperation and to specifically enhance synergies and networking between the Germany-related institutions and groups in South East Asia, GAST Network was founded on November 16, 2009 in Singapore. The founding members were TGGS Bangkok (now replaced by new higher-ranking Thai partners), GIST Singapore (TUM Asia) and SGU, the Swiss German University in Jakarta established in 2000 as the first international University in Indonesia. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rolf H. Jansen (RWTH Aachen), was elected as the Speaker of the GAST Network.
In a meeting on August 16, 2010, in HCM City, Vietnam, Prof. W. Rieck, VGU Founding President, and Prof. Jansen discussed the opportunities of collaboration under the umbrella of the GAST network. On the same day, VGU, the Vietnamese-German University, also joined the network by signing the GAST MoU.
Following similar negotiations with Prof. A. Hunger, University of Duisburg-Essen, the UKM Mercator Office, Malaysia, also joined the network, on October 18, 2010, by signing the GAST MoU. With this addition, the core network of GAST consisted of 5 SEA countries /member institutions of with German background.
The memorandum of understanding by which the GAST network was originally set up with a focus on academic cooperation (today focussing more on R&D and industry cooperation) is shown below.