RI to plough Rp200 bln into COVID-19 research

RI to plough Rp200 bln into COVID-19 research

Research and Technology Minister, Bambang PS Brodjonegoro. (ANTARA/Ikhwan Wahyudi)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Research and Technology Ministry has collected funds totaling almost Rp200 billion for financing research on developing a vaccine, medicines, and other innovative products to support Indonesia's fight against the novel coronavirus disease.


"We believe that the funds that we have collected are sufficient to finance research and innovation efforts up to the prototype stage," Research and Technology Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro said in a statement circulated on Youtube on Wednesday.


The funds have been sourced from LPDP's Endowment Fund for Research, universities, and the Research and Technology Ministry's agencies, including the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).


The funds would not be used merely for financing Indonesian researchers' efforts to produce prototypes of products that the country needs to fight coronavirus, including vaccines, drugs, and health equipment, the minister informed.


The ministry has also allocated an early-stage funding of Rp5 billion to support research for developing a COVID-19 vaccine in the country.


"Of course, we are going to add the funds as needed," Brodjonegoro had revealed earlier.


The most crucial parts of research activities for developing a COVID-19 vaccine are clinical testing and production, he said.


"Therefore, the biggest portion of the funds will be disbursed when the research efforts reach the stages of production and distribution," Bambang Brodjonegoro said.


The ministry would finance COVID-19 vaccine-related research activities until Indonesian scientists successfully develop a vaccine prototype, while the Ministry of Health would finance the clinical test stage, he informed.


Earlier, former Indonesian vice president and chairman of the Indonesian Red Cross, Jusuf Kalla, had said the nation must make a real contribution to global efforts for developing effective COVID-19 treatment.


"Indonesia must contribute to the world of science (by devising ways) for handling the new coronavirus disease," Kalla said in a press statement on May 13, 2020, following a meeting with head of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology, Amin Subandrio.


To support COVID-19 research, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) has granted the Eijkman Institute access to its blood processing facilities in 15 big cities in the country. (INE)

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