Science and technology in Indonesia

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As many other developing countries, Indonesia is not considered as world's leading parties in science and technology developments. However, throughout its history, there have been notable achievements and contributions made by Indonesian for science and technology. Currently, the republic's Ministry of Research and Technology is the official body in charge of science and technology development in the nation. In 2010, the Indonesian government has allocated Rp 1.9 trillion (approximately US$205 million) or less than 1 percent of the total state expenditure for research and development.[1]


Drawing of a Pinisi boat

Living in an agrarian and maritime culture the people in Indonesian's archipelago have been famous in some traditional technologies, particularly in agriculture and marine. In agriculture, for instance, the people in Indonesia, and also in many other Southeast Asian countries, are famous in paddy cultivation technique namely terasering. Bugis and Makassar people in Indonesia are also well-known with their technology in making wooden sailing vessel called pinisi boat.[2] Borobudur and many other temples (candi) also marked Indonesian people mastery in architecture and construction technology.

Construction technology[edit]

CASA CN-235 owned by Spanish Sea Rescue Service

There are some notable technology developments made by Indonesians in modern Indonesia (post independence). In 80's an Indonesian engineer, Tjokorda Raka Sukawati invented a road construction technique named Sosrobahu which becomes famous afterwards and widely used by many countries. The technology has been exported to the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore and in 1995, a patent was granted to Indonesia.[3]

Aerospace and transportation[edit]

In aerospace technology, Indonesia has a long history in developing military and small computer aircraft as the only country in Southeast Asia to produce and develop its own aircraft, also producing aircraft components for Boeing and Airbus, with its state-owned aircraft company (founded in 1976), the Indonesian Aerospace (Indonesian: PT. Dirgantara Indonesia), which, with EADS CASA of Spain developed the CN-235 aircraft, which has been exported to many countries. Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, a former Indonesian president played an important role in this achievement. While active as a professor in Germany, Habibie conducted many research assignments, producing theories on thermodynamics, construction, and aerodynamics, known as the Habibie Factor, Habibie Theorem, and Habibie Method respectively.[4] Indonesia also hopes to manufacture the South Korea KAI KF-X fighter.[5]

Wiweko Soepono, a former Garuda Indonesia director is also known as inventor of the modern two-man cockpit design (Forward Facing Crew Cockpit/FFCC) for Garuda Indonesia Airbus A300 aircraft.[6]

Furthermore, Indonesia has a well established railway industry, with its state-owned train manufacturer company, the Indonesian Railway Industry (Indonesian: PT. Industri Kereta Api), located in Madiun, East Java. Since 1982, the company has been producing passenger train wagons, freight wagons and other railway technologies and exported to many countries, such as Malaysia and Bangladesh.[7]

Information and communication technology[edit]

Indonesia is one of few countries during 70's which owned their own communication satellite. Since 1976, a series of satellites named Palapa were built and launched in the United States for Indonesia's state-owned telecommunication company, Indosat.

In Internet technology, an Indonesian information technology scientist, Onno W. Purbo has developed RTRW-net, a community-based internet infrastructure which provide affordable Internet access possible for people in rural areas.[8]


Moreover, Indonesian students also have a good record in winning many international competitions in science and technology. In 2010, the robotic team from Computer University of Indonesia successfully defended their title by winning the gold medal at the Robogames in San Francisco, United States[9] after they won the same award in 2009. Two years earlier, in 2008, another robotic team from the Tenth of November Institute of Technology won the third place in the robot contest of Asia Pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) Robocon 2008 in Pune, India.[10]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]