Jakarta (ANTARA) - Head of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Laksana Tri Handoko has said that the agency has prepared three programs for the development of the research and innovation ecosystem of the Indonesian marine sector.

At the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) meeting, which was held here on Tuesday, he informed that the first program involves developing and revitalizing research facilities and laboratories, such as the Integrated Oceanographic Research Laboratory (Laterio) in North Jakarta.

He said he also expects BRIN to get two new research facilities by the end of 2024.

The second program is implementing eight schemes to increase the involvement of researchers from other domestic as well as foreign institutions in BRIN’s activities.

The schemes include opening opportunities for tertiary students to become research assistants at BRIN and providing scholarships to visiting researchers from any country, including IOC-WESTPAC member countries.

The third program is launching nine funding schemes, for instance, the Sailing Day Program, which allows researchers to carry out marine research expeditions using BRIN’s facilities, and research grant funding for clinical trials, which can be used to develop marine resource-based medicines.

The agency will also open opportunities for neighboring countries as well as global partners to develop collaborative research centers in cooperation with local universities.

Meanwhile, executive secretary of the IOC, Vladimir Ryabinin, said that the ideas for carrying out science-based sustainable marine development include efforts to reduce marine pollution, tackle climate change, raise ocean issues as national interests, and implement a sustainable marine economy.

"Actually, it (focusing discussion on marine issues) is a very huge mindset change. We can see that in UN (United Nations) meetings nowadays, the ocean is becoming an increasingly important (discussion topic) for the future of humanity," he remarked.

The IOC-WESTPAC is a collaborative forum for research, technology, and policy in marine science for Western Pacific countries. Established in 1989, it promotes international cooperation and coordinates programs in marine research, observation, and capacity building.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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