Singapore-based fintech company, Six Capital, has committed with Gadjah Mada University to build a digital innovation center in Indonesia. The center will be located on the UGM campus in Yogyakarta and will be one of the biggest such facilities in the country. By Shoeb Kagda
Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto was present during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Six Capital (SIXCAP) and Gadjah Mada University (UGM) in Davos on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. He explained that funding of $9.17 million will support six projects, including the construction of a Digital Innovation Center, as well as related digital research and innovations.
The funds will also support the mapping of 110,000 acres of peat land in Padang Island in Riau province, using Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology.
“Six Capital will also provide 1,000 free smartphones for residents in several Yogyakarta regions to allow them access to a preventive healthcare program. The program supports the government’s target to create 1,000 technopreneurs,” the minister stated in a press release from Davos on January 20.
He was convinced that the partnership will support the growth of digital start-up entrepreneurs, especially in the face of the fourth industrial revolution.
Singapore-based SIXCAP founder and chairman Patrick Teng expressed optimism that with the third largest population in Asia, Indonesia would become one of the region’s digital economy giants.
“Along with UGM, we will boost Indonesia to be one of the largest economies in Asia,” he said. “SIXCAP and UGM are building the new Davos where voices from the bottom of the pyramid will also be heard. Davos must not only be for the elite. That is what responsible and responsive leadership should be.”
‘We cannot have entrepreneurs if we do not have new skills.’ - Airlangga Hartarto, Minister of Industry
Technologically aware To achieve higher growth, Airlangga encouraged Indonesian youth to be technologically aware, so that they can become the next generation of digital start-up entrepreneurs. The Ministry of Industry itself is running several strategic programs to boost the competence of Indonesian human resources, including vocational training, internships and certification programs.
“These human resources-centric programs are one of the focal points that President Joko Widodo stresses, because human resources will be a crucial element in Indonesia’s new economic strength,” he said.
Airlangga added that his ministry is developing digital infrastructure for small and medium industries (SMI) - the e-smart SMI program - in an effort to expand Indonesia’s market in the global supply chain and better prepare the country to join the next stage of the industrial revolution.
Social innovation will be the next phase of industrial development which includes creating smart villages with more efficient transportation and healthcare systems. “Our aim is to boost the income of farmers and rural areas so we can slow down urbanization,” the minister noted.
Given the current pace of urbanization, the village may all but disappear from Indonesia in the future. To prevent this, rural incomes must be increased and new opportunities created.
“The average income of a farmer is Rp1 million a month. Can the digital economy solve this problem? The industrial revolution 4.0 will merge the human brain with artificial intelligence but we should not forget our communities,” the minister said. “We must ensure that no community is left behind.”
Indonesia, he said, must build both regional and global value chains if the country is to harness the full benefits of the digital economy. In doing so, it must also equip its people with new skills and knowledge. The jobs of the future will be somewhere between the current blue collar and white collar jobs.
This is where the partnership between Six Capital and UGM can play a pivotal role, Airlangga noted: The new innovation center can help bridge the digital divide in the country.
“President Jokowi has declared inclusive growth as the main program for the nation over the next three years,” he said. “The goal is to retrain one million graduates in the new industry. We cannot have entrepreneurs if we do not have new skills.”