I have taken part in two Merlien Institute events and found both of them really enjoyable, and really useful. The events tend to be smaller than those run by the trade bodies, less commercial than those run by the typical conference organisers, and combine social and academic strengths.
In order to share more information I asked Jasper Lim, the man behind the Merlien Institute and a member of the Festival of NewMR’s 2010 Advisory Board to share some information about the Merlien Institute.
In 50 words, what is the Merlien institute?
Merlien Institute is a knowledge facilitation organisation dedicated to the advancement of research methodologies and techniques in academia, business and policy environments. Our mission is to provide an effective platform for academics and practitioners to innovate, discuss and debate best practices. Specifically, Merlien Institute aims to:
- Cross-fertilize knowledge between academics and practitioners
- Promote the use of scientific methods in market research
- Influence policy makers' utlilisation of qualitative research findings
- Help source reliable research partners for clients through our trusted research referral service
Can you tell me a bit about the history of Merlien, how you got where you are today?
Merlien Institute was founded by Jasper Lim in 2006 while he was still a researcher at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. He realised that most of the conferences he attended were boring and had a lack of focus and passion. He, along with his fellow researchers decided to design an event that is affordable and will allow delegates to inject their passion during the conference. It took them about two years to design, prepare and organise their first event entitled "Computer-Aided Qualitative Research" held in 2008 in Amsterdam. The conference was a resounding success and follow-up events in various topics were held and expanded in Europe, Asia and North America.
The Singapore office was established in 2009 to help support the growing demand for Merlien Institute's events in the Asia Pacific region. A trusted research referral service was also established in 2011 to assist European and North American companies source reliable and trustable research suppliers in Asia. Merlien Institute, with its 23-strong Advisory Board Members and partners, now host more than 10 meetings around the globe with topics ranging from Market Research in the Mobile World, Qualitative Research for Policy Making to Online Qualitative Research.
What do you see as you core mission?
Our core mission is to provide an effective and conducive platform for practitioners and academics to discuss, debate and disseminate cutting-edge research methods and techniques. This is achieved primarily through the organisation of highly focused and topic-specific research workshops and conferences around the world.
How can people get involved in the things you are doing?
As a small organisation, we depend a lot on our Advisory Board Members and our passionate volunteers to help review abstracts and synopses for each conference. This is to ensure that all selected presentations will be “grounded” and relevant for the audience. We also need volunteers to help out with on-site logistics and arrangements. All the help we get ensures that the conference fees are kept as low as possible and therefore allowing individuals and companies with limited budget to attend.
More information about the Merlien Institute is available from their website.