Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. The Expedition and Exploration Funding (PEE) 2022 – 2024 is one of BRIN’s funding schemes that has been opened and inclusive to all researchers. Of the 228 proposals that were submitted in batch 1, following the substance selection and RAB, 45 proposals are recommended for funding on Tuesday, 22/3. The recipients including the Decision and the approved costs for this exploration and expedition activity will be determined subsequently.

The PEE scheme aims to carry out data collection and or specimen collection in the field needed for ongoing research activities on a competitive and competency basis. This opportunity will certainly support optimization of expeditionary activities and/or research exploration on diversity of natural resources, socio-cultural, archeology, etc.

Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, said that he should be happy because this is the first time there has been funding related to expedition and exploration in Indonesia, while in fact, our country is a mega biodiversity country, not only on land but also in the sea. “This PEE can complement funding related to facilitation for expeditions that use the BRI’s research vessels which we call Sailing Day. Of course, these expeditions and explorations are not only about biodiversity, but also related to our other diversity, including geography, arts and culture, and others,” he said at a Webinar on Facilitation and Funding for Research & Innovation (WALIDASI), Edition of Expedition and Exploration Funding (Batch 1).

On that occasion, Handoko reminded the PEE recipients that in accordance with Law no. 11 of 2019 concerning the National System of Science and Technology, the agency requires mandatory submission and mandatory storage of data and specimens collected by PEE recipients. “Even though ownership or access to these specimens and data is still your exclusive rights. We hope that the data you obtained will become the national asset, which in the next 10, 20, 30, even 100 years will be accessible, and is part of the national wealth collection,” he added.

Handoko also emphasized that BRIN asks the recipients of funding to involve the local community as much as possible. This will open up opportunities and chances to learn, make positive contributions, and educate friends in locations closest to the research site, especially students and the general public, as well as lecturers or other researchers.

Meanwhile, BRIN’s Acting Deputy for Research and Innovation Facilitation, Agus Haryono, said that the agency will continue to encourage researchers to join and submit PEE proposals. “Our target is around 300 financing to be carried out this year. Researchers can also propose expeditions and explorations not only this year, but also for years 2023 and 2024,” said Agus.

Agus explained further that use of the PEE scheme is limited, only for the scope of official travels, rental fees, fees for field staff and delivery services. There are provisions that refer to the Standard Input Costs (SBM) and BRIN Budget Execution Cost Standards (in accordance with the approval of the budget manager at BRIN). PEE proposals will be accepted throughout the year. For the 2nd batch, the administrative selection will be conducted on April 8th, the selection of substances will begin on April 15th and the announcement will be made in May. It is hoped that in the 2nd and subsequent batches more proposals will be submitted and successfully obtain funding.

Variety of Expedition and Exploration Activities

One of the candidates for this year’s PEE recipients is a proposal submitted by a Senior Researcher of the Center for Applied Microbiology Research of BRIN’s Biological and Environmental Research Organization, Khairul Anam and his team entitled “A Model Marine Microbial Grazer For Reducing Overexposure Antibiotics In Aquaculture Industrial Systems”.

“Through this funding, we are able to carry out expeditions in the context of exploring beneficial microbes that can act as probiotics in aquaculture environments,” said Khairul.

Khairul explained that the background of this activity the concerns for increasing risk of Anti Microbial Resistance (AMR) death which annually kills 4.5 million people in Asia and 4 million people in Africa. “AMR is a disease that will probably be dominant compared to cancer and other diseases because of its increasing level of resistance from year to year. The spread of antibiotic resistance is due to the use of antibiotics similar to those used by humans, pets and fish farms,” ​​he explained.

Meanwhile, expedition and exploration activities are also important in other technological aspects, such as the Nuclear Fuel Cycle, starting from the process of mining, construction of nuclear reactors to management of radioactive waste. BRIN’s Acting Head of Nuclear Fuel and Radioactive Waste Technology Research Center, Syaiful Bakhri said that exploration and expeditions are important to find uranium and thorium to meet domestic needs, seek and find and produce uranium for the world market, and as part of the country’s natural resource evaluation program.

Syaiful added that integrated data related to exploration and expedition is also important because it must provide effective and comprehensive information as an accumulative investment of knowledge that continues to increase in value. Accurate, up to date and comprehensive information is important as a condition for decision making, increasing safety and capital for licensing.

In this regard, the mass media also plays an important role in publishing information about research expedition activities in the field and in disseminating research results. A journalist for the Kompas Daily, Evy Rachmawati, said that the role of the media needs to be optimized in supporting expeditions and exploration of natural resources. Coverage of expeditions to research locations is needed to produce journalistic works that are interesting to the audience through writing, photos, infographics, and videos. (ns, aps)