Collaborating in service of the community
By supporting open innovation and working with private organisations, the National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia drives efforts to improve the lives of citizens.

Across fields and institutions, it seems the driving force behind great innovation continues to be service to the masses. Developing solutions from low-cost sanitising UV-C lamps to sustainable food for both humans and farm animals, Indonesia’s National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) is an example of how collaboration between government agencies and industry partners can benefit various communities.

BRIN is the result of integrating Indonesian government research agencies across aeronautics, agriculture, mining and more to realise the vision of an advanced Indonesia where citizens and neighbours abroad are supported by the best technologies.

In this interview with IPI, Dr Robertus Heru Triharjanto, Head of Research Organisation for Aeronautics and Space, describes BRIN's key capabilities and the agency’s strong culture of open innovation.

1. Can you tell us more about BRIN Indonesia's key capabilities?

The National Research and Innovation Agency, or BRIN, integrates several Indonesian government research agencies—namely the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences, the National Nuclear Energy Agency and the Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology. BRIN also includes research agencies under other ministries, spanning a multitude of sectors from humans, space and technology to biodiversity, flora and fauna.

BRIN aims to better coordinate all government research programmes by combining the institutes' funding, infrastructure and human resources. As a result, BRIN has absorbed all the research needed for national development and will continue to build the nation’s research and innovation ecosystem by facilitating academic and industry research at its premises.

2. What is unique about BRIN Indonesia's approach to open innovation?

BRIN’s research and innovation facilities are open to researchers from universities, private companies, non-governmental organisations and more from Indonesia and abroad. To maintain quality facilities, the use of BRIN’s premises and experts comes with a fee that can be paid by the user or considered in-kind if the project is within our research collaboration framework.

There are two service models—internet registration and billing for simple testing facilities or contracts for customised services.

3. Can you share how collaborations with BRIN Indonesia will benefit SMEs and large corporations?

For example, BRIN’s research facilities have been used by food SMEs for drying, canning and other food preservation processes. BRIN’s personnel have also performed structural strength tests for Indonesian train system manufacturers and operating companies.

Additionally, we have performed emission tests for automotive manufacturers and several clinical trials for medical industries. The nuclear research facilities of BRIN, for example, supported the production of supplies for nuclear medicines. We are open to suggestions from partners on how we can contribute better to Indonesia’s research and innovation ecosystem.  

4. What kinds of companies and collaborators are you looking to work with?

We are open to collaborating with any technology, aerospace, automotive and biotechnology companies to develop products and services using BRIN’s research facilities and experts. We are also looking for investment partners to develop research and innovation infrastructures in Indonesia. There are also opportunities to jointly operate the infrastructures if they are within BRIN’s premises. Any company that is interested to collaborate with us can email [email protected].

5. What has BRIN Indonesia’s partnership with IPI been like over the years?

The partnership began in early 2020 with the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) and continued with BRIN when LIPI was integrated with the other research institutes. BRIN’s innovations are uploaded on IPI’s Innovation Marketplace and we have participated in IPI’s capacity building programme as well as TechInnovation 2021. IPI has also connected BRIN with several strategic partners in Singapore.