World Bank Agrees to $95m Loan t o Boost Indonesia’s Science, Tec hnology Sectors
World Bank Agrees to $95m Loan to Boost Indonesia’s Science, Technology Sectors
The World Bank said in a press statement on Monday that the money would be channeled through its Research and Innovation in Science and Technology Project (Riset), approved by the World Bank’s executive board in Washington DC on Friday. The project is a partnership between the World Bank and Indonesia’s Ministry for Research and Technology.
“Shifting from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy will bring Indonesia up the value chain in a wide range of sectors, with the help of homegrown innovation and a vast pool of human resources,” World Bank country director for Indonesia Stefan Koeberle said in the statement.
“As a knowledge bank, the World Bank will support Indonesia in making this transition by sharing extensive global knowledge in strengthening public science and technology institutes, as well as training and managing advanced human resources,” he added.
The World Bank says Indonesia’s research and development investment stands at 0.08 percent of its gross domestic product, far below China’s 1.47 percent, Malaysia’s 0.6 percent and Thailand’s 0.26 percent.
Riset, the bank said, will focus on supporting reforms in seven Indonesian institutes of science and technology, namely the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT), the National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan), the National Institute for Aeronautics and Space (Lapan), the National Geospatial Information Agency (BIG), the National Standardization Agency (BSN) and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten).
“Riset will also support provincial research and development agencies in the six economic corridors identified under Indonesia’s master plan: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali-Nusa Tenggara and Papua-Maluku islands,” the statement added.
Dandan Chen, a World Bank senior economist and the project team leader, said fewer than 5 percent of researchers in Indonesia’s science and technology institutes held PhDs, and fewer than 15 percent held Master’s degrees.
Riset will provide fellowships for around 400 researchers from state institutions in order to “raise the academic credentials... especially those in science and engineering disciplines,” Chen said.