Infrastructure and Organisation Projects

The progress of science in Indonesia is mostly hampered by the lack of infrastructure, coordination, communication and initiative.

It is only partially true that a lack of infrastructure inhibits scientific work: many institutions are well equipped but the use of high-technology machines is difficult because there are high administrative barriers (sometimes extensive MOUs are required to use a PCR machine in the department next door). Central facilities have been established in many institutions but they are expensive and researchers prefer to have all equipment in their own labs. This sometimes leads to high-tech central facilities which are not used and to duplication of equipment.

 

Communication within one university or even one department is mostly weak. The exchange of material and methods (e.g. bacterial strains, enzymes, plasmids) is sub-optimal leading to unnecessary expenses.

 

Equipment and chemicals are very expensive in Indonesia. This is mainly due to very high import tax and to the fact that even the most simple pieces of equipment and consumables are not produced in Indonesia.

 

The reputation of Indonesian science is not very high even though there is a high potential. One reason may be that scientific work of good quality is lost in one of the very many Indonesian journals which are almost invisible to the international scientific community.

 

The IGN will not be able to improve all these infrastructure and organisational problems, but will focus, on small scale, on some problems which are outlined below and will later be detailed on separate project sheets.

 

Stock Center

Indonesia has stock centers to provide bacterial strains, yeast strains and plasmids. But apparently, it is complicated and expensive to order material from there.

We will try to establish a small IGN stock center (IGN-SC) with the most common strains and plasmids.

 

Implementation

Biosains at Brawijaya University will provide some freezer space and logistics to store biological material.

IGN members will be asked to send strains and plasmids with detailed description.

The IGN-SC will set up a catalogue and publish this on the web site.

IGN members can order strains and plasmids for free (except for a small handling fee and postage). Non-members can use the IGN-SC for a moderate fee.

Storage space will be financed by IGN membership fees.

 

IGN members may use the IGN-SC to store “back-ups” of their own strains and plasmids. This will be personal, restricted material and will not be given out to others without prior consent of the owner. For storage of personal, restricted material, a small annual fee will apply.

 

Future Perspectives

At this point, the quality of the biological material will not be checked by the IGN-SC. For the future and if sufficient funding is available, routine checks e.g. by sequencing will be carried out by the IGN-SC.

It would also be useful to have a back-up of the IGN-SC in some other member institution. They will only store the material and will reactivate it in case of e.g. a major power failure in the main IGN-SC.

 

Project Progress as of Dec. 31st, 2015

Biosains at Brawijaya University has agreed to provide storage space in a -80°C freezer.

Biosains will set up a price list for handling fees and postage.

The IGN coordinator will send out a letter to all members to provide strains and plasmids (January 2016).

We hope to have the IGN-SC working on a small scale by February 2016.

 

 

Sequencing Facility

Several years ago the IGN has tried to establish a sequencing facility in Indonesia (Indo-Seq). The idea was to start out with an office at Brawijaya University and accumulate so many sequencing orders that we can convince a German company to establish a commercial sequencing lab in Indonesia.

We have to admit that this project failed. The reasons are not quite clear but may be in insufficient quality control and too long waiting times.

We are now reviewing the service process and will try a relaunch with better service, higher quality control, further benefits for IGN members and faster processing.

 

Project Progress as of Dec. 31st, 2015

A new price list with further services is being set up by Indo-Seq and will be distributed by February 2016.

 

 

Instruments

The response to the offer by the German company Febicon (pipettes, gel chambers) was very good.

Even though Febicon prices are very low, this advantage is consumed by Indonesian import tax.

The IGN is currently negotiating with an Indonesian manufacturer to produce gel chambers under licence of Febicon.

 

Journals

Indonesia has probably several hundred journals for biosciences. Unfortunately none of these journals has a sufficiently high quality to be listed by ISI and none has an official impact factor.

The aim of this project is to combine several small local journals, to get several universities involved. This should increase the quality of publications by vigorously selecting for good papers and rejecting bad or irrelevant papers.

Project Progress as of Dec. 31st, 2015

Negotiations with three journals have been initiated. When these negotiations are successful, we hope to get other small journals to join and to obtain endorsement by all IGN partner universities.