YOGYAKARTA - On Thursday, 19 December 2013, UGM celebrated its 64 anniversary. This year, the theme of the anniversary is Dedicating Research, Technology and Science to Indonesia’s Sovereignty with the hope that Indonesia is able to develop technology and science for the nation’s progress in order that Indonesia can be independent.
Rector of UGM, Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M.Soc.Sc., said the development and use of technology and science have to be encouraged to be able to have nation’s sovereignty. Thus, the paradigm of sovereignty is the main key to secure the economy from economic openness and globalisation. Such paradigm requires the state to win global competition and be level with advanced countries. “So, the state has to be able to make use of domestic and international resources to build national capability, minimising national vulnerabilities to possible external disruptions and pressures due to the global economic openess,” said Pratikno to the press after presenting the Rector’s Report in the open meeting of the Board of Trustees in Grha Sabha Pramana on Thursday (19/12).
Learning from those countries that had won global competition, said Pratikno, the key is the ability to re-define the concept of state sovereignty. In his view, Indonesia has to realise that international political economy is the competitive arena that is often supported by structural power that is not just and discriminative.
He explained that to be sovereign means having the willingness, courage and ability to find its own way to make a significant jump in order to catch up with others. One way is by autonomously developing science and technology that produce a series of products from upstream to downstream in all components. “This mechanism is done autonomously, not becoming part of the multi-national corporation network,” he said.
Pratikno said the next government has to prioritise technology and science as investment to win global competition. If we are to become the ‘fighting’ nation, a significant national budget is required for research area as a prerequisite to national competition leverage. As is known, Indonesia’s research budget in 2013 is very low, which is 0.2% to the GDP. This is still under Brazil (1.3%), Russia (1.5%), India (0.85%), and China (1.9%) while high income ones in Asia is Korea (3.6%), Japan (3.4%) and Taiwan (2.3%).
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Sofian Effendi, MPIA, affirmed UGM does not forget its own identity as a university that sustains Pancasila and state sovereignty. According to Sofian, currently Indonesia is no longer sovereign in food and energy. “What has been done by the UGM Rector is always reminding UGM academic community and Indonesians that sovereignty is there to uphold, don’t let our way be damaged by other countries,” he said.
According to Sofian, Indonesia in the future needs a visionary leader that can bring Indonesia to be more independent, not getting trapped as a low economic country. “This century is Asia’s century. There are seven countries in Asia becoming the mover. Three countries are even predicted to become the centre of Asia’s economy, replacing the U.S. and Europe. After China and India, it should be Indonesia. Therefore, we need a visionary leader,” he said.
In the Rector’s Annual Report read out during the open meeting on 19/12, it was revealed efforts made by UGM is to achieve the goal that technology and science can be used immediately for the nation and humanity. The development of technology and science is not only limited on knowledge production, but also knowledge delivery to members of academic community (in the form of publication), to government (policy advocacy), society (community service program) and industry (industrialised research products).
This year, UGM has downstreamed 12 of research products to be produced by four state owned enterprises and to be marketed in 2014. These include 8 health products, 2 health equipments, one throat cancer testing tool and three food products.
In terms of food, the industry development of Gama Tofu as a demplot for business learning and incubation. “In agro-industry, the development of a large scale - up to 20,000 chickens per day – meat processing is assessed by the KP4 of UGM,” he explained.
Another product in interdisiplinary cooperation is the monitoring system and early detection of landslides that has been downstreamed to several mining industry and geothermal companies. The system and early detection tool have been operated in 100 monitoring points in Pertamina’s geothermal spots across Indonesia. The tool has also been used by Myanmar mining companies and the Chinese Geological Survey.