Indonesia is one of the partner countries of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in Southeast Asia. The Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) with Indonesia started in 1979 and was significantly intensified following the tsunami disaster of 26 December 2004 through the joint development of a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean.

Skyline Jakarta

© Ludwig Kammesheidt / DLR

Funding opportunities

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Political framework

According to the STC agreement of 1979, the priority areas of bilateral cooperation are marine research, energy research, aviation and aerospace research, geosciences, social sciences and the humanities as well as technologies that can foster industrial development, and scientific information and documentation activities.

Priorities of the cooperation

Based on the STC agreement, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) maintains cooperation with Indonesia through an inter-ministerial committee.

The cooperation over the last two decades focussed on marine research and coastal protection, setting up of a tsunami early warning system and the exploitation of geothermal energy. Research projects and the accompanying steering committees in the above mentioned fields have been completed by now. The early warning system was handed over to Indonesia in spring 2011.

The inauguration ceremony of the binary geothermal energy plant in Lahendong, Sulawesi, developed by the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ) and Indonesian partners (Pertamina and PNE), was led by RISTIKDIKTI Minister Nasir, Ambassador Schoof, BMBF and GFZ on January 21, 2019.

Two People in the Tsunami early warning system

© International Bureau/Ludwig Kammesheidt


In 2013, the Biotechnology steering committee adopted the white paper 'Biodiversity and health – from biodiscovery to biomedical innovation 2013-2020' as foundation for further cooperation. Developing pharmaceutical substances is a joint research goal, from identifying relevant substances to extracting and isolating them, to production steps including clinical tests and legal approval. A first bilateral call for proposals for funding for this project was published in 2014. The eight joint projects are completed. A scholar programme under this call is running until 2021.

Under the BMBF call 'Bioeconomy International' a project working on innovative value-added chains in chocolate processing is funded from 2019 to 2022. The project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer-Institutes IVV and IME. Besides Indonesian counterparts, the project benefits from international par tners from Singapore, the Netherlands and Switzerland, as well as from well-known German enterprises, namely Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co KG, Valensina GmbH and Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG.

Research presence in geoscience

As part of the APRA (Asian-Pacific Research Area) call 'Development of Research Presences in the Asian-Pacific Region' (2016) the Faculty of Georesources and Materials Technology of the RWTH Aachen University and Gadjah Mada University (UGM) are establishing a competence network and science campus in the field of georesources (GetIn-CICERO; 2017-2022). The jointly run infrastructure and capacities serve research and education along the entire anthropogenic material cycle.

Topics include, in particular, the environmentally friendly development of new raw materials and the exploitation of existing mineral deposits, material-cycle management, sustainable groundwater management in densely populated areas, micro-pollutants in the water cycle, geo-risks and climate adaptation in coastal regions, and energy efficiency in mining and metal finishing. In 2018, a lab facility as hub for joint research and training at UGM was inaugurated. The ceremony was attended by high-ranked officials of RISTIKDIKTI and the German embassy.

Role of the International Bureau project team

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the International Bureau supports the goal of expanding the international network of German universities, research institutions and companies, in order to facilitate the acquisition of expertise and innovative advantages for German science and industry. Thus, the International Bureau contributes to the implementation of the international dimension in the field programmes of the BMBF.