Targeted skills development streamlines collaborative projects
Ten instructors, doctoral students, and students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have received an intensive education in resource recovery over three weeks, focusing on different processes for energy and biogas production from waste. They have also visited different waste management facilities to see how this is organised and works in practice in Sweden.
About the project
The project, run jointly by the University of Borås, Chalmers and Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia, is connected to seven universities in Indonesia: three on Sumatra, three on Java, and one on Borneo.
Universities in the project: University of Borås, Chalmers, Bandung Institute of Technology, Universitas Tanjungpura, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Lampung, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Universitas Bung Hatta, Universitas Proklamasi 45, and Institut Teknologi Bandung. The collaborative project, which began in 2016 and is ongoing until the end of 2019, is funded by the Swedish Research Council.
Part of streamlining research and development projects
"Interest in resource recovery, not least in biogas production, is high in Indonesia, but there are some skills needed to make the processes efficient and economically viable," says Mohammad Taherzadeh, Professor at the University of Borås and coordinator of the project.
"The purpose of the project is for the participants to develop training and research on resource recovery and biogas production at their respective institutions with the guidance of researchers from Sweden and Indonesia. Another important objective is that we will be able to conduct research and development projects more efficiently and purposefully," he explains.
What does this project mean for educational programmes and research here at the University of Borås?
"Indonesia has been an important partner for the university for several years. We have had several students from there at the university continuously for about ten years and we hope that this project provides support for strengthening this aspect. When it comes to research I would like to mention, for example, our research on edible fungi, which originates in Indonesia, and the development of textile reactors for biogas production, which, among other things, has been tested and developed for the Indonesian environment. This project strengthens our collaboration with all of Indonesia.
A couple of participating universities want to further strengthen collaboration with the University of Borås.
"We have signed new agreements to strengthen collaboration with two of the participating universities, North Sumatra University and Tanjgangpura University in Borneo," says Mohammad Taherzadeh.
Knowledge is spread
The instructors and researchers Fajar Marendra from Universitas Gadjah Mada and Dwi Astiani from Universistas Tanungpura comment:
"We are grateful to have this opportunity and will bring what we have seen and learned back to our universities. We will present our experiences to our colleagues," says Fajar Marendra.
"We would like to conduct student exchanges and joint seminars," says Dwi Astiani.
Lukitawesa, a doctoral student at the University of Borås and himself from Indonesia, has assisted the guests during their visit to Sweden.
"In this project, we disseminate expertise in resource recovery to several locations in Indonesia instead of having gathered centrally. We want knowledge and skills to reach throughout the country," he says.
The University of Borås and Chalmers have long-standing collaborations with universities in Indonesia. This project strengthens previous collaborations and adds new ones. It has also meant that the Indonesian institutions have found each other and want to develop contacts among themselves.
Text and photo: Solveig Klug
Translation: Eva Medin