ITB Is Involved in UKICIS to Overcome the COVID-19 Pandemic and Climate Change

Oleh Adi Permana

Editor Vera Citra Utami

BANDUNG, - The establishment of The New Research Consortium between the United Kingdom (UK) and Indonesia aims to tackle the coronavirus and climate change. Bandung Institute of Technology participates in this program with other campuses from the UK and Indonesia.

UKICIS or UK-Indonesia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Sciences is an exchange-ideas forum related to science and technology between the UK and Indonesia. This consortium accommodates Indonesian researchers exchange from Indonesia to the UK campuses, namely Universities of Nottingham, Warwick and Coventry. Also, the British researchers are possible to get exchange research experiences to Indonesia campuses, such as Bandung Institute of Technology, IPB University and Gadjah Mada University. The Indonesian Embassy in London, the British Embassy in Indonesia, and the Ministry of Research and Technology / National Research and Innovation Agency support the program to tighten the relationship between the two nations.

UKICIS holds the five-year agreement in advance to develop and improve Anglo-Indonesian education, as well as in the economic and cultural fields through various activities and community involvement.

In detail, UKICIS aims to provide training, educational programs, and capacity building for universities in both countries. Moreover, UKICIS will hold an annual UKICIS workshop for the best researchers from different backgrounds, generations and disciplines. The workshop aims to explore any possibility, especially for further collaborations between researchers, government and industry. Not only that, but UKICIS also promotes and prepares policy briefs for joint activities between the UK and Indonesia.

Dr. Bagus Muljadi, as one of the UKICIS leaders, said, "The British and Indonesian governments have equalized their goals. Both nations commit to providing solutions to the pandemic and environmental issues. This consortium is a collective effort between universities in the UK and Indonesia to accomplish the purposes of the MoU by uniting the two countries through research exchange, "he said.

UKICIS will initially work together in the specified field related to the issue of global resilience to the pandemic, before finally expanding collaboration in the field of climate change and natural disasters. Dr Muljadi said that the resilience would be explored from various interdisciplinary angles by UKICIS members. Several crucial aspects will get investigated, namely food security and disaster management. "Also, our researchers will examine other elements, such as the mental health implications amid pandemic as well as the preparedness of the public health system. We will also provide enlightenment for reviving business that affected by the pandemic," he added.

Meanwhile, Prof. Benny Tjahjano (Coventry University), said that his campus is carrying out several projects to help businesses and communities to bounce back the economic activities. "We (UK-Indonesia) will get the opportunity to combine our expertise and build future resilience for the nations, especially in the economic aspects," he said.

Prof. Guy Daly, from Coventry University, also added, "Coventry University is pleased to join the UK-Indonesia Consortium. For the past few years, Coventry collaborates with universities in Indonesia as well as the Indonesian government related the health, engineering and business fields," he said.

According to Prof. Daly, a consortium of three universities in the UK, namely in Coventry, Nottingham and Warwick, along with UGM, IPB University and ITB, will be an impressive group. He said that the consortium would gather insights from several interdisciplinary perspectives.

Indonesia Embassy to the UKICIS held the annual consortium meeting on Friday, 21 August 2020. The declaration contains the preparation of an MoA of the founding members (UK and Indonesia).

Reporter: Adi Permana

Translator: Billy Akbar Prabowo

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