Bogor – BRIN Public Relations. In the midst of ongoing environmental issues, energy crisis has also surfaced in global conversations. In an effort to provide solutions, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) through the Research Center for Plant Conservation, Botanical Gardens, and Forestry in collaboration with several research centers within the Environmental and Biological Research Organization established a research collaboration with Kyoto University, Japan.

This collaboration is carried out through SATREPS (Science & Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development). Since 2016, studies on the development of alternative energy have been initiated by taking advantage of the availability of biomass. The SATREPS project is supported and funded by the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and Japan Science and Technology (JST).

When opening the 6th SATREPS Conference, Head of BRIN, Laksana Tri Handoko, emphasized the role of research. “This conference may open a new horizon in terms of science and technology, especially in the use of biomass for alternative energy solutions, for the sustainability of life and a better ecosystem,” he said, Friday (25/3).

The focus of research in this project, Handoko explained, is primarily on development of technology to increase the productivity of land overgrown with weeds/marginal. This is done by utilizing biomass in the production of energy and renewable materials.

“In the span of six years of activity, we have, certainly, achieved various achievements, among other things the method for applying fertilizer for plants that produce high energy biomass, protocols for improving degraded land, and environmentally friendly technology,” said the Head of BRIN. The method, according to him, is to produce lignocellulosic-based materials using sorghum plants with an intercropping system. He said the results of the study will be documented in the form of scientific publications.

Handoko emphasized that the activities of SATREPS are in line with the objectives of the Indonesian National Research and Technology System, namely development, partnership, utilization and competence of research and technology. He asserted that research collaboration must also respond to global challenges, global competence, capacity building and strengthen the national economy.

Meanwhile, Head of the Biological and Environmental Research Organization, Iman Hidayat, said that efficient technology that can convert biomass into energy still needs to be developed. “The results of studies show that lignocellulosic biomass can be used as an alternative energy source, due to the availability of materials in large amount. However, continuous supply of materials still poses a major challenge,” explained Iman.

Furthermore, Iman said, the 6th SATREPS Conference will be a good model to strengthen and develop research partnerships between Indonesia and Japan. This conference is an interesting forum to share and discuss the progress of SATREPS activities.

For information, this SATREPS Project will sustain through collaborative research and innovation in the use of technology with several private entities, among others, biofuel companies, biomaterial production companies, Electric Power Plants, State Electricity Companies, and other stakeholders. (mkr/ed: drs)