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Cablegate: Enhancing Us-Indonesia Partnership Through Science

VZCZCXRO6936
RR RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #1882/01 3170920
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 130920Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3799
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLL
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 3104
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6003
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3687
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5430
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 JAKARTA 001882

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR STAS, OES, AND EAP
DEPT PASS TO OSTP JASON RAO
COMMERCE FOR NOAA
BANGKOK FOR RDM/A

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TSPL TBIO SCUL SENV ENRG PGOV ID
SUBJECT: ENHANCING US-INDONESIA PARTNERSHIP THROUGH SCIENCE
ENGAGEMENT

Ref: Jakarta 1473

1. (SBU) Summary. Post proposes a long-term science engagement
strategy based upon three pillars: 1) upgrading Indonesia's science
capacity through joint research that will provide ongoing mentoring
relationships and connections to the U.S. science community; 2)
assisting the recognition and development of the necessary soft
infrastructure for S&T to flourish; and 3) building a
knowledge-based society from education in science. Concluding the
S&T Agreement currently under negotiation prior to the visit of
recently named Science Envoy Dr. Bruce Alberts would demonstrate the
seriousness that both sides attach to this aspect of our bilateral
cooperation. An S&T Agreement establishes credibility for any new
science engagement strategy. End Summary.

----------------
VISION STATEMENT
----------------

2. (SBU) To use benefits derived from science and technology
cooperation to guide Indonesia's progress towards further economic
well-being and democratic reform.

--------------------------------------
PILLAR ONE: BUILDING SCIENCE CAPACITY
--------------------------------------

3. (SBU) Increased scientific exchanges and joint research
collaboration forms the core of this pillar. Activities could take
place through existing cooperation or new projects such as the
Global Science Corps. The impact of the activities is directly
proportional to the number of participating U.S. scientists and
length of stay in Indonesia.

- Developing the next generation of Indonesian scientists through
programs such as Fulbright or university-based programs;

- Identifying research areas and activities of mutual interest to
American and Indonesian scientists such as climate change, marine
fisheries and link to food security, ocean exploration and other
areas;

Note: For successful long-term engagement on ocean and marine
research, both sides must ensure a successful mid-2010 exploration
visit of NOAA's Okeanos Explorer.


------------------------------ ----------------------
PILLAR TWO - POLICY: BUILDING SOFT S&T INFRASTRUCTURE
------------------------------ ----------------------

4. (SBU) The Science Envoy and delegation could begin the first in a
possible series of discussions in Indonesia that would both assess
the situation and identify potential technical assistance
opportunities.

- Engage the Ministry of Research and Technology (MRT) in a series
of discussions to identify blockages and potential solutions to
develop a pro-science and innovation policy and regulatory
environment;

- Science academies and other non-government stakeholders on both
sides could carry on similar discussions in parallel or integrated
with the discussions with MRT;

- After 6 months of cooperation and discussions, both sides could
decide if a regular S&T dialogue should be launched;

- Placement of one or two short-term science policy experts inside
the MRT or other appropriate government science policy agency to
assist Indonesia in shaping science policies and practices that
encourage and foster a culture of innovation (removing laws that
inhibit cooperation, providing incentives for innovations, etc.).


-------------------------- ---------------------

JAKARTA 00001882 002 OF 003


PILLAR THREE: CREATING A KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY
-------------------------- ---------------------

5. (SBU) Supporting education and centers of excellence, including
through emphasizing science in existing Embassy USAID and Public
Affairs Section (PAS) programs:

- Elementary, secondary, and technical school
science/math/technology education and training (USAID);

- Increasing the number of PhD scientists;

- Fostering cooperation and scientific exchanges between US and
Indonesian educational institutions (PAS/USAID);

- Creating centers of scientific excellence such as the Center of
Excellence on Sustainable Ocean Fisheries (see reftel for
proposal).

--------------------------------------
IMMEDIATE ACTIVITIES FOR SCIENCE ENVOY
--------------------------------------

6. (SBU) Post understands that Dr. Bruce Alberts, Science Envoy, is
considering a visit to Indonesia in January 2010. This coincides
closely with the 100th day of President Yudhoyono's new
administration. Our key counterpart likely will be the Ministry of
Research and Technology (MRT), given its coordinating role and
permitting authority on science and technology related activities
and policy. Possible ideas for a 3-day visit include:

- Presidential Lecture hosted and attended by President Yudhoyono;

- Meet with key science contacts i.e. MRT, Agency for the Assessment
and Application of Technology (BPPT), the Indonesian Institute of
Sciences (LIPI), Habibie Center, the Indonesian Academy of Science,
Ministry of Education;

- Science round table with key Indonesian scientists, policy makers,
think tanks, and private sector;

- Possible S&T MOU signing ceremony;

- Outreach to key universities, i.e. University of Indonesia in
Jakarta, Hasanuddin University in Makassar, Airlangga University in
Surabaya, Gajah Madah University in Yogyakarta, and Institute of
Technology Bandung;

- Press event/interview.

------------------
SEQUENCE OF EVENTS
------------------

7. (SBU) We envision the implementation of this science engagement
strategy as a gradual process, initially building on existing
programs and expanding as the S&T landscape is better defined
through an assessment process. Benchmarks during Year 1 include:

- Signing an S&T Agreement before end of January 2010;

- GOI agreeing to series of discussions and activities launched by
the Science Envoy, including science exchanges and prioritizing
areas of joint research;

- Conducting S&T needs assessment;

- Identifying technical assistance to address policy environment for
science and technology.

------------------
POTENTIAL PARTNERS
------------------

8. (SBU) Our key GOI counterpart is the MRT with other partners such
as BPPT, LIPI, and the Indonesian Academy of Science. Key science

JAKARTA 00001882 003 OF 003


leaders with direct channels to the Presidential Palace include
Director of the Eijkman Institute Dr. Sangkot Marzuki, Chairman of
LIPI Dr. Umar Jenie, and BPPT Chairman Dr. Marzan Iskander.
Depending on areas of cooperation, other important partners include
the Ministries of Environment, Forestry, Fisheries, Health,
Agriculture, Education, Communications, Finance, Foreign Affairs,
and the Central Planning Agency.

--------------------
S&T CHALLENGES AHEAD
--------------------

9. (SBU) If Indonesia is to become a regional democratic and
economic powerhouse driven by rational science-based policies, it
must prioritize investment in and application of science and
technology capacity. Indonesia faces many challenges in the science
and technology sector. The simple lack of science capacity stands
out most clearly. A legal and policy environment unfriendly to
research and commercialization, lack of science-based approach to
policy-making, and a seniority-based culture limit the emergence of
a stronger innovative society in Indonesia. Furthermore, due to a
long history of foreign occupation, suspicion of international
engagement can rise up - spurred on by media attention - and create
political challenges. In 2006, the health minister took an extreme
position to block all cooperation with foreigners on H5N1 virus
sample sharing on the basis that Indonesia owned the genetic rights
of viruses from which foreign pharmaceutical companies develop
vaccines. Sample sharing has not resumed, and cooperation on
biomedical research with the United States remains chilled.

10. (SBU) Dr. Bruce Alberts' visit to Indonesia as Science Envoy
provides an opportunity to highlight and deepen our collaboration on
science and technology at the outset of President Yudhoyono's new
administration. However, key to building our future relationship is
the signing of the S&T Agreement. Absence of this agreement limits
future collaboration.

Osius

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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