Jakarta: Indonesian and the UK set to boost cooperation in research and innovation through MoU on the establishment of UK-Indonesia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Sciences (UKICIS).
Minister for Research and Technology Bambang Brodjonegoro and Minister for Asia at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Nigel Adams MP witnessed the signing of the MoU on Thursday.
The MoU was signed by leaders of the UKICIS founding member universities: Prof. Christine Ennew (University of Warwick, UK), Prof. Reini Wirahadikusumah (Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia), Prof. Richard Dashwood (Coventry University, UK), Prof. Arif Satria (IPB University, Indonesia), Prof. Dame Jessica Corner (University of Nottingham, UK) and Prof. Panut Mulyono (Gadjah Mada University).
Minister Bambang said that UKICIS is a new breakthrough in research and innovation cooperation supported by Indonesian diaspora in the UK. It is hoped that the cooperation will further enhance activities set in the MoU on Research and Innovation between Indonesia and UK, and will boost the Indonesian Research Priorities. He underlined that the Focus Group Discussion which was held by the Ministry of Research and Technology, Indonesian Embassy in London and UKICIS in January 2021, has paved the way for Indonesian diaspora's support in electric vehicles, renewable energy, artificial intelligence and science diplomacy.
Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, Desra Percaya said the establishment of UKICIS is a concrete contribution from Indonesian diaspora in the UK in diplomacy for the advancement of national research. The MoU which has been signed highlights main areas of cooperation among others developing leading-edge knowledge and excellence to target societal challenges in Indonesia and the UK, enhancing educational, economic and socio-cultural links between the two countries through community engagement, expediting knowledge exchange and increasing research impact and the chances research findings reaching key stakeholders.
Minister Nigel Adams and the UK Chief International Envoy Professor Carole Mundell, in this occasion, said the momentum of the UKICIS establishment further strengthened bilateral cooperation in research and innovation for the benefits of the two countries, as well as to contribute in addressing global challenges, including Covid-19. The UK Ambassador in Jakarta Owen Jenkins, who also attended this forum, delivered his remarks, updating progress in research and innovation cooperation between Indonesia and the UK.
The UKICIS coordinator, Dr Bagus Muljadi gave a progress report in which he stated the UKICIS is established through a concerted effort by UK and Indonesia's best universities and is motored by Indonesian scientific diaspora in the UK. Indonesian diasporas have a pivotal role in strengthening the bilateral relationship between the UK and Indonesia particularly through science diplomacy. This consortium is a manifestation of diaspora's soft power and ability to expedite knowledge exchange between the two countries, their potential needs to be harnessed properly to help Indonesia solve its biggest challenges, including achieving health security.
"The signing ceremony of the MoU was followed by a forum to discuss on ways to enhance global health security," said the Indonesian Embassy in London in a press release on Thursday.
Experts from the two countries exchanged their views regarding public awareness on Covid-19 virus mutations and variants, track and trace policy to prevent further spread of new variants, and efficacy of vaccine boosters against new variants.