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Jakarta. Indonesia plans to waive all fees for filing of patent and copyright applications, as part of efforts to encourage greater domestic innovation and boost the country’s competitiveness.
Muhammad Nasir, the minister for research, technology and higher education, said on Tuesday that researchers and inventors had been discouraged from registering their innovations with the government because of the high cost of filing a patent application.
“Inventors have had to pay a lot for the intellectual property rights to their innovations, even as those products have yet to generate [money],” Nasir said during a visit to the Jakarta Globe newsroom in South Jakarta “How can we expect to drive more innovation under such conditions?”
Nasir said he wanted to get the private sector more involved in research and technology development and applications, identifying a lack of funding for research and development for Indonesia’s dearth of technological innovations.
He said research funding in Indonesia, mostly from the government, currently amounted to Rp 8 trillion ($631 million) a year, or 0.09 percent of gross domestic product — far lower than in more competitive economies such as Singapore (2.6 percent), Malaysia (1 percent) and Thailand (0.25 percent).
Nasir said he wanted annual R&D spending in Indonesia to amount to at least 0.5 percent of GDP by 2019.
“We need research to support our efforts to improve our nation’s competitiveness, otherwise it will be hard to realize,” the minister said “In the future, I want our higher education sector to conduct research based on orders, not on opportunities. It’s much more efficient to conduct research based on commissions from the private sector.”
He noted that four-fifths of all research funding in Singapore came from the private sector, while in Indonesia it was just one-quarter.
“That’s because the research being done isn’t relevant to the private sector’s needs. But when we look at other countries, like the United States, the universities there serve as research centers for businesses,” Nasir said.
“We’ll study ways to draw business interest in university research. And we must build close connections between researchers and the private sector.”
Nasir said Indonesia needed to immediately boost its competitiveness in the face of the Asean Economic Community framework that kicks in this year.
Adopted by the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the framework is expected to spur regional growth through improved connectivity and more integrated and liberal trade and economic activities.
“We have a short-term task to improve the competitiveness of this nation,” Nasir said. “Only with high competitiveness can we compete in the Asean Economic Community.”