The new Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran (ISI) to Indonesia, HE ValiollahMohammadi paid a courtesy call to the HE Minister Research, Technology and Higher Education, Prof. MohamadNasir on Monday, 11 May 2015. Ambassador Vailollah delivered his thankful to the Minister for his hospitality and introduced himself as the new Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iranto Indonesia. In his first two months of serving, Ambassador Vailollah noticed that there is a big room of cooperation between the two brotherhood Moslem countries, especially in the field of science, technology and higher education. He further mentioned his willingness to expand the cooperation to other areas.

Minister Nasir was very pleased to received Ambassador Vailollah and Mr. AbdolaliMaktabifard, the Counselor; and congratulated him for his new placement in Indonesia. Minister Nasir started to explain that in the new Government of Indonesia, there are two Ministers that responsible for education. First, the Minister for Education and Culture which responsible for primary to high school students.Second, the Minister for Research, Technology and Higher Education which is under his leadership.Further, he mentioned that Indonesia has 120 State Universities and about 3900 Private Universities.

Minister Nasir then explained that he was having great opportunity to visit Tehran, Iran on 22-23 February 2015, together with Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Resources – Dr. Muhammad Dimyati and Director for International Science and Technology Network – Mrs. Nada Marsudi, for attending “The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation”. During that visit, Minister also had a chance to visit and saw the great achievement of Pardis Techno Park (PTP). Therefore, Indonesia would like to invite Director of PTP to come to Indonesia and share the strategy and model of PTP to Indonesian stakeholders during the commemoration of the 20th National Technology Awakening Day (HAKTEKNAS), 10 August 2015. This would be an excellent reference for Indonesia on developing 100 Science Techno Park (STP) until 2019.

The Director for Institutional Development, Dr. Lukito H. Pratopo described that most of the STP in Indonesia is focused on agriculture; and he was asking whether it is one of the main focus areas in the PTP. On regards to this question, Ambassador Vailollahexplained that in Iran, they have an Agriculture Research Organization under the Ministry of Agriculture. They also have many achievements in that area. Mrs. Marsudi added the information that PTP focuses on the five areas which include(i) electronic and medical devices; (ii) Information and Communication Technology; (iii) Mechanical and Automation; (iv) Biotechnology; and (v) Nanotechnology, advanced material and chemical.She further explained that although agriculture is not the top priority in PTP, Indonesia still can learn their strategy and model in commercialization of the research.

Dr. Dimyati also suggested that Iran could increase the number of students to study in Indonesia. There are many great Universities that can be the option, such as Universitas Indonesia, InstitutTeknologi Bandung, UniversitasGadjahMada, InstitutPertanian Bogor, and many others. He further mentioned that exchange of researchers and expertise in specific areas would be also a good concrete of cooperation in the near future. For this suggestion, Ambassador found that it is very good opportunity; and both Iran and Indonesia have to work together to introduce and promote their strengths and benefit to study in Iran and Indonesia. The Embassy of Iran is very happy to work with the Government of Indonesia to introduce Iranian Universities to potentialIndonesian students; and he also expects that the Indonesian Embassy in Tehran also do the same with the Iranian Government to introduce Indonesian Universities to Iranian students. One thing that is considered as a difficulty for Iranian students is a language. Iranian students need to learn Bahasa Indonesia to be able to understand the lecture, as the international courses are still limited.

Mrs. Marsudi explained that Indonesia and Iran already renewed the umbrella of cooperation and it was signed in 2014. Further, she also mentioned that the 5th Joint Working Committee (JWC) on Science and Technology in Tehran, Iran that should be held in 2015, need to be postponed in 2016 due to the new structure of the Ministry. Indonesia would like to expand the area of cooperation, not limited to Science and Technology, but also in Higher Education.

Iran is also known as one of the largest oil production countries in the world. Therefore, Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Network, Dr. Agus R. Hoetmansuggested that Indonesia should learn from Iran how to lift up the oil production. In addition to invite speaker from PTP, Dr. Hoetman suggested to also invite an expert to this field in the HAKTEKNAS 2015. (ts/ad5-dep3/2015)