An association between Indonesian and UK scientists to better prepare coastal communities against the effects of climate change has won a share of the prestigious one million pound sterling Newton Prize.
The winner was announced at a reception in Jakarta on Tuesday (Jan 14), according to a written statement from the British Embassy in Jakarta received here on Wednesday.
The project was co-led by Dr Harkunti Rahayu from the Institut Teknologi Bandung and Professor Richard Haigh from the University of Huddersfield.
The research was jointly funded by Indonesia and the United Kingdom through the Newton Fund, facilitated by the British Council and Indonesia's Ministry of Research and Technology.
Climate change is increasing the frequency and impact of extreme weather events, such as the recent devastating floods and tsunamis in Indonesia.
Along with a team of researchers, Dr Harkunti Rahayu and Professor Richard Haigh have devised a novel strategy to better protect homes, businesses, and infrastructure in coastal urban areas.
The team coalesced two distinct approaches – disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption – and came up with a new-fangled integrated strategy that can be incorporated into Indonesia’s development plan.
The researchers also assessed tsunami preparedness in Indonesia and other countries in the Indian Ocean, which informed of the work and priorities of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning.
The research sets an example of how international cooperation on science and innovation can address key global challenges. Results of this research can be adapted for use in other countries and areas at risk, including in the UK.
Moreover, winning the prize will enable researchers to advance their work to the next level.
The Newton Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with 17 partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare as well as to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth.
It has a total UK Government investment of 735 million pound sterling up until 2021, with matched resources from the partner countries.
The Newton Prize, launched in 2016 and part of the broader Newton Fund, will be annually awarded for the best research or innovation that promotes economic development and social welfare of Newton partner countries. Related news: Finance ministry optimizes tax incentives for research, development
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