The newly appointed Ambassador of the United States to Indonesia, HE Mr.  Joseph R. Donovan Jr., paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia, HE Mr. Mohamad Nasir on Wednesday, 22 March 2017.
During the meeting,  HE Minister Nasir was accompanied by Secretary General, Ainun Naim; Director General for Learning and Student Affairs, Intan Ahmad; Director General for STHE Resources, Ali Ghufron Mukti; Director General for Research and Development, Muhammad Dimyati; Minister Advisor for Cooperation Abdul Wahid Maktub,  Head for Bureau of Cooperation and Public Communication, Nada Marsudi, Windie Nababan and Ardian Syaputra.
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HE Minister Nasir then elaborated existing bilateral cooperation activities between Indonesia and The United States.
It is mainly divided into two forms of collaboration,  which are (i) the Indonesia-United States bilateral relation in the field of science, technology and higher education (STHE), and (ii) Indonesia-USAID Cooperation.
For the first framework, HE Minister Nasir explained on several achievements, including ‘the 3rd Indonesia-The United States Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) on Science and Technology’ which was conducted in Yogyakarta on 14-15 November 2016. This 3rd JCM was chaired by Secretary General, Ainun Naim’ from the Indonesian side and both Indonesia and US agrees to conduct
(1) Joint Review on the foreign research permit,
(2) Workshop on food agriculture,
(3) Study on data management and/or exchange,
(4) Implement Capacity building program, and
(5) Encouraging techno-entrepreneurship and transfer technology programs.
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HE Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr. explained for his absence on the 3rd RI-US JCM in Yogyakarta, last November 2016, because he was not appointed yet, as the US Ambassador to Indonesia in November 2016.
However,  to follow up this 3rd JCM meeting,  HE Ambassador Donovan wished that both Indonesia and The United States, could determine focal points regarding each issues in the JCM,  for quickly conducting the agreed JCM programs.
The second framework of collaboration is ‘the Indonesia-USAID Cooperation’. Through the signing of the Individual Arrangement (IA) between the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education (MoRTHE) (represented by Secretary General, Ainun Naim) and the USAID (represented by Director of Education Office USAID, Mr. Peter Cronin) on 14 December 2016, the USAID grants around USD 21,266, 750,-, for developing the science, technology and higher education programs in Indonesia. This amount  is divided into four main programs in the period of 2014-2018, which are:
i. Sustainable Higher Education Research Alliances (SHERA),
ii. Program to Extend Scholarships and Training to Achieve Sustainable Impacts (PRESTASI) II and III, and
iii.  Partnership for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER).
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One of the programs, SHERA, was successfully launched on 21 March 2017.
HE Ambassador Joseph R. Donovan Jr. hoped that the cooperation between Indonesia and The United States could be maintained harmoniously in the future. He also expected that the student exchange and scholarahip in the field of higher education, between Indonesia and The United States will continue to flourish in the future.
HE Ambassador Donovan will promote American academicians and researchers to give lectures or to conduct research in Indonesia in the future.
However, HE Ambassador Donovan also raised concern on the foreign research permit procedure in Indonesia.  He further wished that Indonesia and USA teams should work on the research permit, in order to promote more bilateral collaborations amongst the researchers, Professors, lecturers, reaearchers and students collaboration between both countries.
In line with that, HE Minister Nasir stated that the vision of the Ministry is to develop ‘the national (Indonesian) competitiveness’.  One of the efforts is by creating ‘The Visiting Professors program’. The Professors can be from foreign countries (including USA) or from Indonesian Diaspores  that are having professional careers abroad.
In conclusion, HE Minister Nasir expressed his gratitudes to the generosity of USG as one of Indonesian International partners, and wished to witness more attractive and inspiring bilateral collaboration programs of RI-US in the future.
Windie Nababan,  International Division,  Bureau of Cooperation and Public Communication,
The Ministry of Research,  Technology and Higher Education.
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