Jakarta, 21 March 2017 – New innovations and inventions have a critical role in the development and progress of a nation. According to the World Bank, Indonesia had 213 researchers per one million populations in 2000 which have increased to 550 researchers per one million populations in 2015. This increase is still not sufficient compared to other countries. The number of researchers in Malaysia, which in 2000 was 274 per one million populations, has increased more than six fold to 1,793 per one million populations in 2014. In order to be able to compete with the developed countries, Indonesia must increase the number of researchers, particularly those engaged in applied researches that can directly address community needs.
As a form of support for increasing the number of applied researches in Indonesia, Tanoto Foundation again held the Tanoto Student Research Award (TSRA) Program which has been running since 2007. The program partners with five universities, namely Institut Teknologi Bandung, Institut Pertanian Bogor, Universitas Hasanuddin, Universitas Sumatera Utara, and Universitas Indonesia, to encourage their students to undertake researches, which as they are developed later on can be directly applied in the community. Through the TSRA Program, Tanoto Foundation has given supports to more than 440 applicative researches in various fields, among others technology, health, agriculture, and environment.
“Mr. Sukanto Tanoto and Mrs. Tinah Bingei Tanoto established Tanoto Foundation to support efforts to reduce poverty in Indonesia through three pillars, namely Education, Community Empowerment and Enhancement of Quality of Life. In the field of education, we support quality enhancement through hardware improvement, which covers facilities supporting the teaching learning process in schools and universities as well as software improvement, which covers capacities of the lecturers, students, and academic environment. ”
“In addition, the life of Mr. Sukanto and Mrs. Tinah was initially very difficult. Due to economic reasons, they did not have the chance to complete their formal education. But they have proved that two principles, namely hard work and perseverance, can overcome challenges faced. They always encourage young people to apply these two things in whatever they are doing in their lives, “said Sihol Aritonang, Chairman of the Tanoto Foundation Management.
“Tanoto Student Research Award is the materialization of these values. And it is also intended for promoting development of the application of knowledge in universities in order to create products that can be directly utilized by the community, “he continued.
In 2017 TSRA, we can see how students utilize technology to create innovative products that are useful for the community. Students from UI, for example, have made drones to support the precision farming system. There are also researches that use readily available materials to produce products that are easy to use by the public, such as for example, the research by IPB students that uses boards made from oil palm tree fronds as exterior building materials, “added Sihol Aritonang.
Meanwhile, Ujang Suwarna, Head of SubDirector of Interests, Talents, and Reasoning of Institut Pertanian Bogor said that the activities of TSRA encourage students to be more creative in transforming the science and technology that they learn in their studies into applicable products. “With the availability of research supports such as this Tanoto Student Research Award, the students are encouraged to develop applied researches that can be directly applied, one of which is to support productivity in the industrialized world. TSRA is also making our students increasingly challenged to explore ideas that can support the sustainable utilization of natural resources, “said Ujang Suwarna.