Jakarta – BRIN Public Relations. Currently, eighty percent of research activities in Indonesia are still dominated by the government. In fact, referring to UNESCO standards, research activities should be dominated by non-government or private sectors.

The National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) seeks to make it easier for the private sector to enter research activities. Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, said that research activities should actually be dominated by the private sector, because it is them that drive economic growth, not the government.

He explained that the private sector needs research for product development, which can provide product differentiation. It is this product differentiation that ultimately creates economic added value, and takes our country out of the middle income trap.

“They (the private sector) are interested in doing product development that can differentiate their products, and to do that they need research. Their goal is not research, but product differentiation,” explained Handoko, in an interview broadcast through the Akbar Faizal Uncensored podcast, Monday (10/01).

He gave an example, how the kencur plant -aromatic ginger- is not only sold as a powder product, but into a phytopharmaceutical through research activities, which in turn increases the economic added value.

However, the private sector has been reluctant to enter the world of research because it needs high cost and high risk. For this reason, the government through BRIN needs to be present by taking these risks through provision of excellent human resources and infrastructure.

“Therefore (excellent human resources and infrastructure) are the most expensive costs in research, and that is something the government can control. BRIN already has excellent human resources, infrastructure, and budget, we can facilitate non-government parties to enter research easily,” he added.

BRIN provides excellent human resources and infrastructure that the private sector can use openly (open platform) through funding and facilitation schemes.

“So they (the private sector) bring up the problem, then collaborate with BRIN through the available human resources and infrastructure to carry out research activities. Generally, 80 percent of research are doomed to fail. If they fail, they will not lose so much, because investment in human resources and infrastructure has been provided by BRIN. But if it works, BRIN can ask for a license fee, and BRIN will pay the fee to the state,” said Handoko.

He explained that globally, the research conducted by the government should be research that the private sector cannot enter called big science, then advanced (future-oriented) research which is not attractive to the private sector.

Meanwhile, the research conducted by the private sector is research for developing products which produce high economic value.

“Globally, most of research by the private sector are at product development level, which generates economic added value,” he said (tnt).