14 July 2020
Australia’s national science agency CSIRO will work with Indonesian research partners to strengthen Indonesia’s pandemic preparedness and response and accelerate joint research outcomes related to COVID-19.
The partnership will draw on CSIRO’s COVID-19 response, including expertise in building vaccine testing models, and data analysis to provide insights about emerging disease hotspots.
Australia has redirected nearly AUD45 million from our AUD298.5 million development program in Indonesia towards COVID-19 activities.
This new funding of AUD1 million (IDR9.7 billion) forms part of Australia’s additional AUD21 million COVID-19 response package targeted at immediate health, humanitarian and economic recovery in Indonesia and will be used to partner with key Indonesian research institutions.
Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Gary Quinlan said Australia is pleased to work with Indonesia to support partnerships that foster scientific collaboration on issues crucial to the response.
“The global pandemic has impacted Australia and our Indo-Pacific neighbours profoundly and managing the social, economic and health impacts of COVID-19 is now the over-riding challenge for our region,” Mr Quinlan said.
Professor Amin Soebandrio, Chairman of the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology under the Indonesian Ministry of Research and Technology welcomed the announcement.
“The Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology is working hard to help the Indonesian Government in the fight against COVID-19,” Professor Soebandrio said.
“One of the tasks given to us is to create a vaccine development platform for COVID-19 and other future emerging infectious diseases. We welcome international collaborations such as CSIRO’s presence and contribution within the Eijkman Institute’s Expert Technical Advisory Panel.”
Petrarca Karetji, Head of the United Nations Pulse Lab Jakarta (a joint data innovation facility of the United Nations and the Government of Indonesia also funded by the Australian Government) also welcomed the opportunity to work with CSIRO’s Data61 team.
“Partnering with CSIRO will enable us to provide decision makers with valuable real time insights and predictive capacity to help develop strong data-informed strategies to prepare for, combat and recover from current and future pandemics in Indonesia, and across the Indo-Pacific region,” Mr Karetji said.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said CSIRO is working with partners around the world to share its multidisciplinary response to the global crisis, from vaccine testing and manufacturing, to predictive analytics and genetics.
“CSIRO had been preparing for a pandemic because our global partnerships help us see the future – that preparation allowed us to hit the ground running with our COVID-19 response,” Dr Marshall said.
“Partnering with our global neighbours is how we deliver the solutions from science the world needs, so partnering with Indonesia and other nations means we can learn from each other, better protect the health of our people, and tackle this global crisis together.”
This funding builds on more than 40 years of engagement and partnership between Australian and Indonesian researchers to solve key challenges for our region.
Available for interview:
Dr Prasad Paradkar, CSIRO
Mahesh Prakash, CSIRO