"We hope that the program will help enhance the quality of instruction at universities..."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The United States through its embassy in Jakarta has agreed to provide US$6 million in grants to fund joint researches conducted by Indonesian and American universities.

"The United States is pleased to support exciting research and collaboration between Indonesian and American institutions of higher education," said US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel on the fund handover ceremony in the Indonesian Ministry of Education here Monday.

The research grant fund was handed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to the Indonesian ministry.

"We hope that the program will help enhance the quality of instruction at universities, promote science and technology development and inspire generations of scientists to contribute to their communities through their important work," he said.

Marciel also added that the program is also a part of the signed gentlemen agreement of US President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2010.

"As two of the biggest democracy countries in the world, the US and Indonesia must assist the development in many sectors such as education, health, cultural and many more," he said.

The program is also aimed to strengthen cooperation of the two countries` students, lecturers and institutions, and hopefully it can be a long lasting relation, Marciel added.

"I believe that the cooperation between the universities of the two countries can create a good research result for facing the global problem," Marciel said.

The current grant program was provided to support five new researches, namely the US-Indonesia Influenza Collaborative study, a joint study of the University of Colorado and University of Padjajaran.

They will establish a system to monitor influenza virus infections in human and poultry in West Java and delineate the role of human -poultry interactions in the transmission of influenza viruses.

The second research is promoting sustainable forest management and biodiversity through research and education partnerships, which will be done by the Rutgers University and Universitas Nasional Jakarta.

Together, both universities will train future generations of biologist on the sustainable management of peat-swamp forests and biodiversity in Central Kalimantan.

The third is the School Action for Innovations in Science (SAInS), which will be done by Colombia University and the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) that aims to improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Indonesian high schools.

Fourth is the Kalimantan Wetlands and Climate Change Study (KWACS), the joint program of Oregon State University, University of Tanjungpura, University of Mulawarman and Indiana University.

The program is aimed to enhance the technical and professional capacity of Indonesia graduate students to help reduce emissions from deforestations and forest degradation in Indonesia.

The last program is the SMART Lab, where Sampoerna School of Education will establish four model Science, Tecnology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) senior high schools in partnership with New York Hall of Science and Tufts University.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2013