"Through innovation, industry operators can face various challenges head on and create competitive products," Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita noted in a statement here on Wednesday.
Kartasasmita remarked that innovation will also lower the country's dependence on imports and bolster the national industry to face the new normal.
The minister cited the example of innovation in the health sector that has become the key to expedite the handling of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
"Before the COVID-19 pandemic, no domestic industry could produce ventilators. However, now, in less than three months, the industry, in cooperation with several universities, has developed (ventilators) and are ready for manufacturing," Kartasasmita pointed out.
The Health Ministry cited the requirement for one thousand units of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) transport ventilator and Ambubag 668.
A team of experts from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), University of Indonesia (UI), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), and Surabaya 10 Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS) has worked in coordination with the Industry Ministry and developed various types of ventilator, including emergency ventilator.
A team from UGM will soon produce the fully featured or high-grade ventilator.
"Their innovation will also help the domestic industry to become self-reliant," he noted.
The ministry’s research is ongoing to create products to support the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the design of a face shield as personal protective equipment (PPE), research and development of non-PCR test kit for virus detection, development of rapid test kit to detect COVID-19 by employing the lateral flow immunoassay method, and development of PPE raw material.
Moreover, the ministry has encouraged the domestic pharmaceutical industry to develop raw materials for medicine.
"For the long term, the Industry Ministry will build cooperation between the research institute and pharmaceutical industry to develop raw material for the COVID-19 drug," the minister explained.
To support the survival of the Small- and Medium-Scale Industry (SME), the ministry has helped SME operators to market their products through digital channel.
Kartasasmita highlighted the importance of the national industry to be ready to face the new normal. The industry can adopt the strategy of digital innovation to maintain productivity and contribute to the national economy while adhering to the health protocol.
"Digital innovation has given the opportunity to face the challenges to reawaken the national industry. We are upbeat about our industry sector recovering faster than other countries. This is the type of optimism that we should build and maintain as a symbol of national awakening," Kartasasmita affirmed.
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