Approximately more than 200 participants of various institutions from Indonesia and France participated in the 8th Joint Working Group (JWG) regarding research and higher education conducted at the University of La Rochelle, France 5-7 April 2016. Acting as chairman of Indonesian delegation is Mr. Jumain Appe, Director General of Innovation Enhancement from the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education while the French delegation was lead by Marc Piton, Director of the Institut Fran├žais Indonesia (IFI). The 8th JWG was opened by HE Ambassador Fauzi Soelaiman, Ambassador/Deputy Permanent Delegate of Indonesia to UNESCO

The meeting attended by policy makers and practicioners in research and higher education discuss various issues concerning collaboration between Indonesia and France as well as problems and challenges on implementing previous years program and activity. Those problems and challenges consist of:

  1. Efforts to strengthen exchange of students, teachers and researchers as well as to overcome language barrier.
  2. Efforts to build sustainable partnerships and to provide funding for each agreed program
  3. Responsive towards priorities set by Indonesia
  4. Develop a collaboration scheme with industries for research and training programs.
  5. Efforts to encourage local governments (city/province) in Indonesia and France to begin collaboration on decentralization scheme basis.

In his opening remarks, HE Ambassador Soelaiman Fauzi stressed the importance of collaboration between both countries to support quality improvement of lecturers and researchers as well as research results in order to address challenges of global society. Meanwhile Jumain Appe highlighted, “how research activities done by research institutes are important and universities need to be more focus on industry and society demand.” Through the 8th JWG, it is expected that collaboration among universities, research institutes and industry in both countries could be improved using consortium scheme. Marc Piton in his speech welcomed priorities suggested by Indonesia. In next collaborations, France is expected to support establishment of various centers of excellence (Expertise Center for Science and Technology) in Indonesia.

Furthermore, problems and challenges within both countries during collaboration, was discussed exclusively during official meeting among delegations and parallel group discussions (workshops) that addresses seven issues: Environment; Marine Science and Technology; Engineering, New and Renewable Energy; ICT and Educational Technology; Law, Economic and Management; Social Sciences, Human Sciences, Language and Tourism; and Health Sciences, Food Safety and Security.

Moving forward, results coming of these discussions will become a shared commitment for collaboration in implementation of programs in research and higher education sector. (Nn / bkkp)