April 25th Janet Cox-Singh arrived in Jakarta to participate in a workshop for the joint UK-Indonesian health research call coming up in May (Focus on Infectious Diseases). Initial steps towards formalizing a research partnership between the MRC, Newton and DIPI (MOU signed during the workshop).
What is DIPI? DIPI stands for Dana Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia or the Indonesian Science Fund. DIPI was set-up early in 2016 to provide a mechanism for and funding to support sustained R&D excellence in Indonesia. There were delegates from UK Institutes and from our Indonesian counterparts – approximantely 30 people. The welcome address was given by Professor Sangkot Marzuki, President of the Indonesian Academy of Science and the inspiration behind DIPI.
Day 1 – presentations from top notch Indonesion scientistis and summary of research gaps and opportunities for collabroration. Very positive.
Day 2 UK counterparts presented to highlight research expertise in their particular institutes and their own personal research interests. There were plenty of opportunites to network and discussions were lively and exciting. Many links made and collaborations born. The call for joint proposals will be launched mid-May.
We , the UK contingent, visited three institutes: The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, The Institute of Human Virology and Cancer Biology (IHVCB) and the Mochtar Riady Institute for Nanotechnology (MRIN). Impressive designated task – specific lab spaces planned to high specification at all sites visited (Image a lab space in IHVCB). MRIN a state of the art new facility. The Eijkman Institute founded as the medical laboratory in 1888 and re-named the Eijkman Institute in 1939. Named for the first Director Christiaan Eijkman who won the Nobel prize for making the link between Beri Beri and Thimine deficiency caused by polishing rice. The Eijkman Institute keeps its beautiful building – original fittings and distinctive doors in corridors hiding high end facilties behind.
Was an inspirational few days in Jakarta – the UK scientists talking real research with Indonesian scientists – openly no other agenda- just fresh and motivating. Threads of networks forming between UK and Indonesian scientists but also between like-minded dedicated UK scientists. The workshop opened new opportunities for collaborative research and Janet Cox-Singh will put serious effort into consolidating sustainable capacity building collaborative links with Indonesia.