BANDUNG, INDONESIA – Stakeholders in Indonesia and Japan called for establishing a strategic partnership in innovation to face the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
The call was made Sunday at the conclusion of a three-day convention on Indonesia-Japan cooperation in innovation in the West Java capital of Bandung.
Former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Indonesian Vice President Boediono said in their keynote speeches that correct strategies and measures involving politicians, scholars, business circles, government officials and other people, are needed to foster innovation.
“It is important to establish a system . . . backed by long-term strategies and public support,” Fukuda told participants at the venue, Bandung Institute of Technology, one of Indonesia’s most prestigious universities.
As examples, he referred to tech giants Microsoft Corp. and Apple Inc., which can continue to innovate as they are supported by “angels” in the legal and taxation systems.
“Secondly . . . to create innovation and bring it to the production level, it is necessary to have small and medium-size enterprises that master basic technology with a high spirit of creativity although their scale is small,” Fukuda said.
He further stressed the importance of creating good education policies, referring to Japan’s experience in building “kosen,” a five-year associate degree program available after junior high school that focuses on providing creative and productive practical skills.
According to the president of the Japan-Indonesia Association, about 300 Indonesian students have attended kosen in Japan since 1982.
Fukuda particularly advised the Indonesian government to provide more attention to students with social sciences backgrounds instead of the natural sciences, because such students can bring innovation into the business market.
In his speech, Boediono stressed that technological innovation is the primary determinant in the development of a nation, and that the main gateway for technology to enter daily lives is through investment.
“Indonesia clearly needs more entrepreneurs who are able to innovate. Therefore, I strongly endorse collaboration between Indonesia and Japan in entrepreneurship development,” he said.
Indonesia is now entering a development phase that must count more on knowledge, innovation and creativity as the source of economic growth, he said, adding that in this phase, there will be many challenges.
To deal with them, productive cooperation with countries that are more advanced in technology is needed, the vice president said.
“Japan and Indonesia can benefit from this strong cooperation by expanding collaboration to create innovative products, processes and marketing in both countries,” Boediono said.
“The challenge either for Indonesia or Japan is how to meet various opportunities to strengthen the ties between research institutions, business circles and the public in efforts to provide benefits for the two countries,” he added.
Participants in the Indonesia-Japan Innovation Convention included scholars, businesspeople and government officials at the campus where one-third of its staff were trained in Japan or graduated from Japanese universities.
It was aimed at promoting innovative products of the two countries and improving joint collaboration in innovation among industrial circles, universities and research agencies.
Participants focused on eight innovation clusters: information and communications technology, sustainable energy, biotechnology and health, creative industries, transportation systems and infrastructure, materials, smart community and entrepreneurship, and policy.
On Sunday, the participants called on all stakeholders to establish an appropriate forum between Indonesia and Japan to facilitate dialogue and follow up on possible new cooperation or agreements.