Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia’s Research and Technology Ministry and Australia's Monash University have agreed to strengthen research collaboration between the two countries' varsities.

The possible cooperation was included in a memorandum of understanding, signed by the ministry's secretary, Mego Pinandito, and his Australian counterpart here on Thursday.

Pinandito said he would monitor and evaluate the implementation of the MoU on research collaboration and administration policies under the Australia Indonesia Center (AIC).

The MoU aims to provide research collaboration frameworks to the AIC and seven selected universities/institutes in Indonesia, he informed.

The selected higher educational institutions are the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), University of Indonesia (UI), Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Airlangga University (Unair), and Hasanuddin University (Unhas).

The MoU envisages research collaboration in areas such as food and agriculture, energy (new and renewable energy), health and medicine, transportation, engineering products, maritime, and social sciences.

The research collaboration and administration policies would also cover such activities as analysis of the two countries' national research priorities, consultation with related stakeholders for improving the best research practices, and joint research and development in relevant and prioritized areas.

The ministry and AIC may also submit joint proposals for funding sources from external institutions; co-organize conferences, seminars, workshops, and other academic activities; hold academician, student, and administration staffer exchanges; exchange scientific works, publications, and information; and, promote joint publications on the outcomes of collaborative research projects.

Regarding the ministry's cooperation with AIC, the South Sulawesi provincial administration would get involved, Pinandito said. The two parties will also pave the way for the engagement of business communities to support innovation commercialization in the future, he added.

The empowerment of the provincial administration through sciences, technology, and innovation would help the central government to achieve the nation's development goals, he added.

ANTARA has earlier reported how, over the past decades, several leading universities in Indonesia have collaborated with Australia's outstanding universities in research and teaching programs.

The University of Indonesia (UI) and University of Queensland (UQ) Australia, for instance, have even intensified cooperation through the implementation of the UI-UQ Bilateral Research Forum.

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Translator: Martha HS, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Gusti Nur Cahya Aryani
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