Last year, two researchers from the Microelectronics Center (PME) ITB, Husnan Achmad Samhany and Irfan Gani Purwanda, obtained RISET-PRO funding from the Ministry of Research Research and Technology – Republic of Indonesia, after a series of proposal submissions. This fund was used by both researchers to make observation and independent research to Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and the industrial ecosystem in Silicon Valley (Intel, Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc).
The purpose of this activity was to learn more closely and follow the process of innovation there, starting from academic to industrial-scale research. Coming to public lectures, discuss about problems and solutions, as well as lessons from a wide variety of research experience, gave them insights to identify the research patterns and positions that they are currently doing.
From the observations, conclusions could be drawn directly by intensive visits to several research centers at Stanford University. This campus is an excellent example of the close synergy between academia, industry, and government. The vision of their activities are to collect the talented people in the field of science and technology, and solicit funds from the government and industry to fund the research relevant to the industrial development today. In turn, this rotation cycle will result in the ability to perform better research. In addition, a good relationship with the industry will make Stanford’s graduates easily absorbed into the industrial environment, and even some of them became the founder of large-scale industries. The founder HP (Hewlett-Packard), Yahoo, Google were the immense examples of how a consistent cycle could revolutionize the technologies, not only in America but also the world.
The researchers also took a lot of lessons from the applied multidisciplinary methods. Collaboration between technology and art generates a lot of innovations. The entire academic community are required to have the mindset of design thinking which is constantly trying to combine the technology (feasibility), business (viability) and human values (usability, desirability) as well.
“We was so amazed with the concept of solving problems in the real world and not dwell on the research for purely academic demands. Research should lead to solving problems that surround us!”, said Irfan, a product designer at the Microelectronics Center ITB.
The conclusion needs to be underlined is that the relationship between the academia, government and industry should be closely related. All these three cannot stand alone, and must go hand in hand in order to achieve a rapid and significant progress. University acts as institution that produces innovation and reliable human resources, while industry acts as a liaison between the community and wide range of innovations being developed, a guide for university’s research direction, and human resources absorber. Government plays a role in setting up the regulations and providing research funds which will protect the industry and its research institute. By advancing the industry, it will automatically improve the economy and prosperity of the country as a whole.
“This program gave much experience as well as great increase in the knowledge and insight for us as researchers who are basically the forefront players of the research itself.”, said Husnan.
Hopefully in the future, there will be more similar programs that can increase the capability and skill of researchers, which in turn, they are able to make the advancement of technology and industry in the country for the welfare of the nation and the ideals of Indonesian independence.