Indonesia needs 200 thousand researchers

Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - Indonesia ideally needs to employ 200 thousand researchers in various fields before it can catch up with the technological progress of other countries, according to Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Chief Lukman Hakim.

"The number of researchers in Indonesia today is still small and disproportionate to the country`s population," Lukman said here on Wednesday.

Lukman made the remark upon opening a scientific seminar and the "Annual Meeting on Testing and Quality" (AmTeQ) at the Airlangga University campus.

According to him, there are only eight thousand researchers at LIPI and 16 thousand others at various universities, but the number remains insufficient to meet the country`s goals.

"Certainly the number of researchers in the country is very small, compared to our population of some 240 million," Lukman remarked, pointing out that Belorussia, a small country in Europe, has 36 researchers per 10 thousand people, whereas Indonesia has only one researcher per 10 thousand people.

He acknowledged that researchers in various scientific fields were believed to be the backbone of developed countries, helping them to compete in both economic and political realms.

"Developed countries realize the importance of scientific researchers in improving industrial competitiveness for their economic development," he noted.