Indonesia Steps Up Science Techno Park Initiative To Support Local Innovators

Indonesia motor show
A staff member cleans a Toyota Alphard Hybrid on display at the Indonesia International Motor Show in Jakarta, April 25, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan)

Indonesia has announced the addition of three more technoparks that should help support the work of local innovators. The country already has 18 parks as part of the "Riset Pro" initiative.

According to Antara News, Secretary General of Indonesia's Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education Ainun Naim revealed on Thursday that the Research and Innovation in Science Project or Resit Pro will push through this year with three more technoparks planned.

Originally, the government planned to establish 100 science technoparks. The scheme was labeled as a national program priority but the inadequate number of scientists helping with the program stalled the process.

To address the lack of scientists and tech experts working on the program, the ministry tapped non-ministerial groups and public universities to achieve this year's target. Among the agencies and institutions involved is the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and the National Nuclear Energy Agency (BATAN).

Naim explained that collaboration will pave the way for innovative domestic products to penetrate the Indonesian market. The list of products includes an electric scooter created by the Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) that will soon hit the market.

Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) already has its own science technopark. It focuses on several segments including bio-science, food production, and tropical agriculture. Products from the park will be sold to the market with assistance from the Indonesian government.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian government continues to encourage innovative projects and strategies in sectors across the country and recently, a breakthrough in agriculture was achieved by scientists.

As part of Indonesia's national scheme of promoting innovation in various sectors, scientists worked together to develop new crops through the use of nuclear science. Researchers used radiation mutation engineering to come up with improved seeds that farmers can use.

The scientific research program has since bred 35 new crop varieties including rice and soybeans. The new varieties are said to bring about higher yields, are resistant to strong climate changes, and also less susceptible to diseases.

In other industries, the Indonesian electric vehicle sector is preparing to accept battery-grade nickel products from the country's first lithium battery manufacturing plant. While it may take months before an environmental permit is released, EV firms are optimistic about the project.

If all goes well with the GEM Co. Ltd. and Tsingshan Group joint venture, the $700-million plant is expected to encourage innovation in the EV industry. It is also expected to boost the sector's sales and revenue.

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