Dr Bagus Muljadi, Director of UKICIS
The UK-Indonesia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Sciences (UKICIS) has marked it's first year in existence. In a letter to the six founding members, Dr Bagus Muljadi (UKICIS Coordinator) remarked that in founding the Consortium, "the members gave a joint pledge, to strengthen the UK and Indonesia’s bilateral relationship via scientific collaborations and improve global resilience against pandemic, climate change and natural disasters."
"Instead of sitting out, we strived to help find solutions. Early this year, we invited our governments to sit together to discuss what we can do to improve global health security. We shared our research and showed that through scientific collaboration we can tackle even the challenges such as COVID-19.
"We continue to look forward, even beyond the pandemic. We assisted the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology strengthen its National Research Priorities. Through careful consideration, we helped identify geothermal, electric vehicles, science diplomacy, and smart architectures to be key research areas Indonesia and the UK need to focus on.
"We are concerned with the inclusion of women in science. During the international women in science day, we showcased the potential of Indonesia’s women as scientists whose roles are critical in getting the country to progress and escape the middle-income trap. We encouraged Indonesian female PhD students and scientists to act as agents for knowledge exchange.
"We understand the importance of science in improving a country’s soft power; and how Indonesia needs to transition from a resource-based, to a knowledge-based economy. We helped organise the soft power symposium and formulated a joint strategy to make Indonesia more attractive to the international community.
"We also want to contribute to the two countries’ efforts in meeting the net zero emission. We assisted the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation, and successfully produced a policy brief that will assist Indonesia expedite its adoption of electric vehicles as means to curb emission. We shared best practices from the two countries, and help strengthen Indonesia’s safety regulations in relation to electric vehicles.
"Within our first year, we contributed to the strengthening of UK-Indonesia bilateral relationship, helped with the provision of new policies, and facilitated transfer of knowledge – just as we promised – all despite the restriction on mobility and international travels. This is what UKICIS is all about. It is about how two countries share their knowledge, and together tackle humanities greatest challenges through scientific collaborations.
"Moving forward, UKICIS as an inclusive organisation will open its door to new membership, and continue to draw on contributions from other UK and Indonesian universities. We believe that to achieve real impacts on the lives of the most vulnerable, we must not work alone."
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Posted on Wednesday 6th October 2021