In Indonesia, the responsibility for research development is seen as remaining in the hands of the government. This is one of the reasons why research in Indonesia is lagging behind other countries such as Malaysia and Thailand. To promote research in Indonesia requires strategic partnerships, namely, the involvement of philanthropic and business elements. Recognizing the importance of partnerships in Indonesia, Filantropi Indonesia held the 16th Philanthropy Learning Forum, with the theme of Strengthening Partnership for Development, Business Philanthropy, and Research in Indonesia on the 23rd of May, 2017. On this occasion, there were four speakers, Okky K. Radjasa from Kemenristek Dikti, Annisa S. Febrina and Femmy Soemantri from Newton Fund, and Deni Puspahadi from Indofood Research Nugraha.
Okky stated that since 2014 the competitiveness of research efforts in Indonesia has declined year by year. As much as 60 percent of research assets or R & D spending in Indonesia is controlled by America, China, Japan and South Korea. Meanwhile only 60 percent of BOPTN funds are used for research. This happens because some research in Indonesia is still not considered official, so it cannot be fully funded. When compared, the forecast development of Indonesian research in 2040 can only be considered equivalent to South Korea in 2015.
In order to advance research in Indonesia, the role of non-governmental research organizations must become more integral. Organisations such as the Newton Foundation, a research partnership program that seeks to make a socio-economic impact, are increasingly important to incorporate into research networks. The Newton Foundation has a stronger network with outsiders, especially the British Council. Of the overall investments made by the UK in Indonesia, 16 percent is allocated towards research in Indonesia. The research conducted by the Newton Fund in Indonesia began in September 2014. The form of activities is open call, with 2 regular calls (annual) and thematic calls (one-off). One example of these successful partnerships was the research done on the cocoa plant in collaboration with universities in Makassar. In the implementation of their research, the Newton Fund uses the concept of academic business partnership with the government.
Business partnerships in research are also important. Some examples include those partnerships undertaken by Indofood Research Nugraha (IRN). Historically, this program used to be called Bogasari Nugraha Program which took place between 1998 – 2005. Since then it has been renamed as Indofood Research Nugraha. IRN is a pillar platform for CSR that aims to improve economic and humanitarian conditions, with a focus on food security both in terms of local and imported products. Every year Indofood Research Nugraha conducts research directly into these areas.
From this discussion it was seen how philanthropic and business partnerships can provide a new solution for lagging research development, especially given that in the last decade philanthropic institutions have grown rapidly with a variety of focus areas. It is also hoped that with a substantial increase in resources that the philanthropic and business organisations may provide, the work done can continue past publication into the real-world application.