The Jakarta Post
Indonesian researchers are set to acquire a share of the 2019 Newton Prize, which recognizes the best research and innovation partnerships funded through the Newton Fund – a major bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the United Kingdom.
This year’s iteration of the annual program saw a shortlist of six joint Indonesia-UK projects competing for a share of the 1 million pound (US$1.3 million) prize. Among the projects on the Indonesia shortlist are research on the protection of coastal communities from climate change impacts, sustainable bridge infrastructure as well as the prevention of infectious diseases and urban resettlement through the lens of gender.
The winner of the prize is set to be announced at the Newton Prize reception held on Tuesday.
In addition, the 2019 Newton Prize also celebrated partnerships between the UK with China and the Philippines.
Up to 200,000 pounds are to be awarded to the project considered the most impactful and of the highest quality. There is also an additional prize of up to 500,000 pounds for a project that serves as an exceptional transfer of knowledge with the UK.
“We have more British and Indonesian researchers working together than ever before, with joint programs across health, energy, biodiversity and sustainability driving positive change in the lives of many in Indonesia,” UK Minister for Asia and the Pacific, Heather Wheeler, said in a statement.
First launched in 2016, the Newton Prize is part of the Newton Fund program, which aims to build research and innovation partnerships between the UK and 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth.
Research and Technology Minister Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro, who also serves as the head of the recently established National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), responded positively to the accomplishment, saying that the shortlisted Indonesian projects were relevant to one of the most urgent matters in the country, natural disasters.
"Through the Newton Fund, the amount of research and innovation funding between Indonesia and the UK has increased rapidly from 2014 to 2019. We have run 15 collaborative research and innovation programs and 22 research proposals have been launched,” he said, adding that the government also appreciated the collaboration, which aimed to increase the contribution of Indonesian research to internationally reputable scientific journals. (rfa)