October 15, 2021, by Jason Feehily

NICCRAT in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in London to support the development of molecular diagnostics in Indonesia.

Continuing the effort to foster the partnership between the University of Nottingham (UoN) and several Indonesian academic and research institutions in the field of health and clinical sciences, Nottingham-Indonesia Collaboration for Clinical Research and Training (NICCRAT), initiated by Dr. Susanti Susanti and Prof. Mohammad Ilyas, recently collaborated with the Indonesian Embassy in London to deliver a discussion titled “Indonesian day: Developing Molecular Diagnostics in Indonesia”. Held on Sunday 3rd October 2021, the ‘Indonesia Day’ event is a special add-on for the UoN’s yearly UK-Molecular Diagnostics and Image Analysis Training School (MDTS & IATS). This year, as part of the delivery of 2019 Newton Fund Institutional Link Project between the University of Nottingham and Universitas Gadjah Mada, titled “Improving Clinical Outcome in Indonesia with a Novel diagnostic test for Colorectal Cancer (ICONICC)”, NICCRAT has facilitated the participation of approximately 100 Indonesian delegates, who attended the 5-day UK MDTS and IATS 2021 from 4th to 8th October 2021, alongside with other participants from the UK and Europe.

Speaking of the Indonesia Day and MDTS &IATS, the UK MDTS & IATS course convenor, Prof Ilyas said “I was delighted to welcome our colleagues from Indonesia onto both of our training courses and deliver on our commitment in the ICONICC project. Delivery of the Indonesia Day was a great addition, and we are grateful for the participation and support of the Indonesian embassy. Undoubtedly this will be another step in the development of long-lasting relationship between UoN and Indonesia.”

The special sessions on the “Indonesian Day” focused on the current landscape of molecular diagnostics of cancer in Indonesia, capturing perspectives of the policy makers, clinicians, academics, researchers, industry, and research funders. The main objective of the discussion is to initiate the communication between stakeholders in the field and to promote the development molecular diagnostics of cancer and other diseases in Indonesia. The event was opened by welcoming remarks from Professor Robert Mokaya, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at UoN, followed by opening speeches from HE Dr. Desra Percaya, the Indonesian Ambassador to UK, Ireland and IMO and HE Mr. Owen Jenkins, the UK ambassador for Indonesia and Timor Leste, who highlighted the commitment of both embassies to support and strengthen the bilateral partnership between Indonesia and UK in various fields including building resilience in the health sector.

The HE Dr. Desra Percaya mentioned “Amidst the global pandemic as today, it is very timely for us to collaborate and strengthen the global health resilience, among them is the cancer diagnostics in Indonesia. I find the initiatives by NICCRAT are pertinent in showcasing the diaspora concrete contributions as well as demonstrating the commitment from various institutions from both UK and Indonesia including academia, governments and private sectors in enhancing cancer detection. I am hopeful that this impactful partnership will serve as a prime example to be replicated in a wider range of collaboration to achieve more accessible cancer diagnostics for all.”

On this occasion, Dr. Hayat Sindi, the Senior Advisor to the President on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), and Supervisor of Communities Outreach Programme from Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) also joined the meeting as one of the speakers, discussing the commitment from IsDB through its STI committee to promote United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing various streams of funding support and platforms such as Transform Fund, Engage, and joined call with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which include grants for low-cost early detection and diagnostic solutions for cancers in women, particularly in Low-and-Middle Income countries (LMIC). In fact, currently the NICCRAT consortium is supporting PathGen Diagnostik teknologi, established through Transform Fund grant from IsDB, to utilise UoN know-how to develop and commercialise low-cost molecular diagnostics kit for colorectal cancer in Indonesia.

Several prominent experts from Indonesia also presented and discussed the latest update on disease landscape as well as opportunities and challenges of implementation of molecular testing in Indonesia. The speakers included Dr. Dr. Dante Saksono Harbuwono- Indonesian Vice Minister of Health; Prof. Ali Gufron Mukti- President Director of The Social Security Administering Body for Health (BPJS Kesehatan); Prof. Aru W. Sudoyo- Oncologist and Chair of Indonesia Cancer Association/ Yayasan Kanker Indonesia and Academics from University of Indonesia; Dr. Didik Setyo Hariyanto, pathologist and Academics from Universitas Gadjah Mada; and Dr. Ahmad Utomo- biomolecular scientist from Universitas Yarsi.

NICCRAT initiator and CEO/Founder of PathGen, Dr. Susanti stated “It is our commitment in NICCRAT to delivering impactful partnership. We are grateful for collaboration from many of our partners both in Nottingham and Indonesia that have enabled us to keep contributing to capacity building, research and innovation especially in the areas of cancer genetics and molecular diagnostics. The continuous support from UoN, the Indonesia Embassy in London as well as several related Ministries in Indonesia have and will ensure the greater impact of our initiatives.”

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