Remarks by Ambassador Blake at the Launch of the Indonesia Science Fund, Jakarta

Dr. Bambung Brodjonegoro, Minister of Finance
Dr. Andrinof Chaniago, Minister of National Development Planning
Dr. Muhammad Nasir, Minister of Research and Technology/Higher Education
Dr. Bruce Alberts, Former U.S. White House Science Envoy to Indonesia
Australian Charge D’Affaires David Engle

I am delighted to be here for the launching of the Indonesia Science Fund.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Sangkot Marzuki (President of the Indonesian Academy of Science, AIPI), Dr. Satryo Brodjonegoro (Vice President of AIPI), and the entire Indonesian Academy of Science, for hosting this afternoon’s event and for what I have heard has been a spectacular series of events in celebration of their Silver Jubilee.

The United States is proud to have a deep and wide-ranging partnership with Indonesia and we support the important agenda that President Jokowi has articulated.

One area that we see opportunity for further growth is science and technology.  President Obama has underscored the importance of our two countries  working together to spur progress and further development in S and T.

In 2010, under the umbrella of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, the United States and Indonesia signed a bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement.  This agreement has led to joint bi-annual committee meetings to update our common research priorities in key areas and identify ways to strengthen the networks between our scientific communities.

Both the United States and Indonesia have made strides in prioritizing science, technology and innovation at the highest level of national development, policy and planning.

U.S. scientific and regulatory agencies have worked together with their Indonesian counterparts on a range of innovative programs and projects to address mutual concerns in the areas of health, agriculture, marine sciences, climatology, space, and nuclear sciences.

Nonetheless, there is more we can do together to advance mutual priorities.

One of the areas that has been identified as a priority to help Indonesia realize its potential as a global powerhouse in science and technology is to enhance funding mechanisms to support Indonesia’s researchers.

To help address that, the United States is pleased to join with the Australian Government in supporting Indonesian-led efforts to establish an autonomous Indonesian Science Fund that would directly supply scientists and engineers with funds for world-class research.

As always, the United States Government remains committed to supporting Indonesia in strengthening its science and technology ecosystem.

We also look forward to sharing U.S. experience and lessons learned with the National Science Foundation (NSF), which was established by Congress in 1950.  The NSF remains a major funding source for basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities.

That is why the United States is excited to help AIPI and the GOI establish the ISF.

We recognize and appreciate the importance of a competitive funding system that will help the best Indonesian researchers to undertake excellent research and promote innovation, technological advances and economic prosperity.

I had the pleasure of witnessing Minister Brodjonegoro’s expression of support for the ISF back in December and am thrilled that AIPI and the Government of Indonesia have been moving full speed ahead since then!

So again let me extend America’s warm congratulations to AIPI on celebrating 25 years!

We look forward to continuing to work alongside AIPI and our government counterparts in their efforts to promote merit-based research and scientific excellence in Indonesia.

Thank you.

As prepared.