Algorithm Hill has become an interesting topic of discussion in recent weeks. Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) politician Budiman Sudjatmiko launched the idea of building Algorithm Hill, a place that will become the center of Indonesia's cutting-edge technology such as Silicon Valley in California, United States. Many people scorn this plan, but Budiman is optimistic that if supported by many parties, this idea is not impossible to realize. He dreams that future generations will have an ideal ecosystem for research and innovation that can become the pride of the nation. How to realize this idea? He shared his ideas with the VOI team.
The idea to build a Proof of this Algorithm has been around since 2018. Budiman Sudjatmiko, M.Sc, M.Phil gathered 4.0 innovators. He wants Indonesia as a nation to play an active role in the industrial revolution 4.0 that is already in sight. The problem is that in the previous industrial revolution, Indonesia was only a spectator. In the first and second industrial revolutions, Indonesia was still in the grip of the Dutch colonialists. Meanwhile, in the industrial revolution, these three nations had just become independent and so they could not play an active role, they were still spectators.
In the future, this former member of the legislature from PDIP, Indonesia must have a research center that is a place for developing human resources. The main reference is none other than the Silocon Valley in California which is the center for the development of cutting-edge technology for America. Various global companies make this place their headquarters. Call it Google, Facebook and Apple and so on.
As the Chief Executive of PT. Kiniku Bintang Raya KSO Budiman Sudjatmiko is optimistic that Algorithm Hill will be like Silicon Valley, which is a center for research and development of technology-based human resources 4.0. After this idea was socialized massively, it turned out that the response from various parties was so great. Many scientists want to join this project. Not a few investors who want to invest or make similar places in other areas in Indonesia. “This means that there is a longing to establish our country based on knowledge which has previously been preceded by the establishment of a knowledge-based economy. Indonesians abroad are interested in getting involved,” he said.
Algorithm Hill, which has become a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for the Development of Technology and Industry 4.0, which is located in Cikidang, Sukabumi, West Java, will become a research center that produces innovations and patents. Meanwhile, for manufacturing, another Algorithm Hill is needed that is specifically designed to produce the results of applied research. To Iqbal Irsyad, Edy Suherli, Savic Rabos, and Irfan Meidianto from VOI, Budiman Sudjatmiko told a lot about the initial idea of Algorithm Hill, how he disseminated it, invited people to get involved until the realization of this mega project worth 1 billion euros or equivalent to Rp. 18 trillion, in Wiken Koffie, in Tebet, South Jakarta recently. Here is the full interview excerpt.
What was the initial idea for the project called Algorithm Hill that you initiated?
Initially in 2018, my friends and I established a group of 4.0 innovators to gather Indonesian children who study and work at home and abroad. They have a concern for technological innovations. Why do we collect it because it is facing the era of the industrial revolution 4.0 The industrial revolution which is the latest development from the development of the previous industrial revolution. In its history, the industrial revolution has always changed many economic systems, politics, culture, nationality, sociology and so on.
In the previous three industrial revolutions, we have almost only become objects or are still consumers. Because at that time Indonesia was still in the Dutch colonial period. In the third industrial revolution in the 1950s when computers and digital technology were introduced, several countries that did not appear in the previous industrial revolution era began to emerge, such as India and China. The industrial revolution had an impact on economic growth.
We have entered the 4th industrial revolution. Technological developments are getting faster and the use of good tools through digital engineering, biological engineering, atomic engineering is increasingly affecting world civilization. It seems that Indonesia also has no signs of being at the forefront of this 4th industrial revolution. Even though the government has planned to anticipate it. The government also cannot do this alone, the private sector must also take part. We are here to help the government to come forward. We gathered young people in anticipation of that. Indonesia has capable human resources. At that time there were parties who had similar ideas. They have 888 hectares of land which will be handed over to us to manage and become a place for HR to conduct research on innovation, especially in three fields; digital engineering, atomic engineering and biological engineering.
We will invite our people who are educated by the state to go home and devote their knowledge in their homeland. We will create the ecosystem they need. Algorithm Hill will accommodate those who have studied up to the doctorate to work here. Evidence Algorithms in Sukabumi will produce products whose results are in the form of patents and research results. Later there will also be Algorithm Hills in other places for mass production or factories/hardware if the software is in Sukabumi.
The Indonesian government once established a Puspitek in Serpong, is there a continuation of this Algorithm Hill project?
There is no direct link, Puspitek, BPPT and others are initiatives carried out by the state. What we do is purely from the private sector and the community. We are not contradictory, in fact complementary. The only thing that Puspitek and BPPT do is they focus on encouraging smart people to produce something (technological innovation). The problem is that the innovation product sells or not in the market? That's why at Bukit Algorithm we don't only emphasize the supply side but also the demand side. Countries that are successful in technological innovation are those that can secure their markets both domestically and internationally. America, China and other countries have been able to do this.
In Indonesia, let alone the global market, it is difficult for us to reach the domestic market. Our people still choose products that already have brands and reputations from abroad. State and private institutions have many reasons why they do not use the products of the nation's children. There are two approaches to dealing with this, the market approach and the country approach. The United States for their domestic use of a free market approach, people buy products innovation has emerged since the beginning. For the global market, America takes a market and political approach. Meanwhile, China, which has a large population, uses a state approach in marketing their innovative products domestically.
When setting up Algorithm Hill you and your team also thought about the market?
We don't just prepare humans who are experts in innovation. But also prepare the market. It turns out that after we observe there is one very potential market that is not too big on brands, namely the village. Villagers don't really care about the brand, but the function of the goods they buy. In the past, the village had no purchasing power. Now the village has Rp 1 billion a year in funds. The funds are certainly not for the construction of physical facilities alone, but also for other things such as health, education, and non-physical needs. When the villagers already have purchasing power, this should be welcomed. They don't just buy imported products. Villages not only have high purchasing power, but also high investment power.
After the village becomes established, has business institutions because village funds continue to decline every year, we encourage them to enter the high-tech research industry as we did at Algorithm Hill. An industrial innovation area to meet the needs of the domestic market, especially in villages in its economic development. We can do economic empowerment in 7,091 villages. In this position the village is not only a market, but more than that. We hope that the villagers will think ahead by investing their funds in the right places. So that they can transform from an extractive economy to a knowledge-based economy. That is what America, China, South Korea and other developed countries have done.
You really hope for a village that is assumed to have village funds that fall every year, what if the policy changes?
I emphasize that village funds as mandated by law are mandatory, only the amount is different every year. So this is the mandate of the Law, whoever the president is obliged to channel this to the village as long as Article 72 of Law No. 6 of 2014 concerning Villages is not amended. We also encourage villages to have money machines in the form of Bumdes (Village Owned Enterprises) so that they also have other incomes besides village funds that fall every year. In some villages the results from Bumdes are greater than the villages they receive.
We will also invite villagers to become investors/shareholders in this technology company. So they are not only as consumers, but also as producers because they have shares there. We will create an ecosystem of consumers (producers and consumers). Villagers will consume the products they have.
What kind of response from people with the presence of this Algorithm Hill?
Lots of people want to get involved here and build on the same elsewhere. There are also those who want to invest in this project and there are also those who are preparing land for Algorithm Hill elsewhere. This means that there is a desire to establish our country based on knowledge which has previously been preceded by the establishment of a knowledge-based economy. Indonesians abroad are interested in getting involved. There will also be a Hill Algorithm Fund. This is for technology research funding in Indonesia. It will be a technology incubation and acceleration institution. In the fields of genetic engineering, biological engineering, computational engineering, and others. I just realized that not a few rich and smart people miss a place like this. Those who have been living abroad will return home.
The distance between research to become a product that is ready to be marketed is not short, how do you see this situation?
There are two types of research, basic research and ready-to-market research. At Algorithm Hill, the second priority is research. With the advent of the computing and digital era, the distance to commercialization can be shorter than ever before. Vaccines against COVID-19 can now be produced in a relatively short time compared to before. So the distance from basic research to applied research and towards commercialization can be shorter. And this distance will be shortened again.
Some ask that now is the digital era, why do we have to prepare physical infrastructure again. Can't everything be done at home? Some things can indeed be done at home, but for certain research, a clean room is still needed, a soundproof room, all kinds of things to store data for testing and so on. We will soon develop centers for biotechnology, quantum technology and artificial intelligence, energy storage to store energy, waste technology, lithium, nickel and so on. There are several state agencies that offer partnerships with us.
All research conducted at Algorithm Hill is commercially oriented. How the research results can be commercialized. For basic research, please go to college. Its orientation drives the Indonesian economy.
How far has the Algorithm Hill construction progressed?
It was only on June 9 that we had ground breaking. Currently there are already buildings that can be used. There are 6 large buildings to the hotel. There is also a house that will be renovated, we will use it to develop several technologies, a neuroscience center, a center for the study of the structure and function of the human brain. There are also Indonesians who have just returned from England who will develop 6G technology. We will also provide trainings for young people who want to develop their technology business. We will bring in mentors from abroad both online and off-line. How they build a technology business company. They will be trained how to make business plans and proposals. We'll fund them up to 1 million to 50 million dollars. But his efforts must be world-class. It will be escorted until it enters the capital market like on Wall Street in America. This is a challenge for our youth. We will encourage youth to think as cool as possible. We will support money later. Cool idea and sold to investors.
Target Hill This algorithm starts when?
This August the second Bocimi toll road segment will be completed. From the toll gate to our location, we only have 7 kilometers left. We will build it to connect to the toll road around August. We will renovate the existing building. The first phase of the development process at Algorithm Hill is three years. But this can be faster if an investor enters. We will build an IOT (Internet of Things) Park covering an area of 100 hectares. There are Indonesians who have built four IOT Parks in China. He'll make it on Algorithm Hill. Indonesia must become a knowledge-based country, otherwise we are no longer relevant. And Algorithm Hill is the place to bring cool innovative ideas to life. We build this Algorithm Hill for wake up call. If there is a problem we have to solve.
Algorithm Hill Is Budiman Sudjatmiko's Dream for Future Generations
It has been more than a year since the corona pandemic has hit Indonesia, starting in early March 2020. Various restrictions have been put in place by the government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. On the one hand, this limitation makes it uncomfortable, but Budiman Sudjatmiko can pick the other side. He can improve the quality of interaction with his only child; Puti Jasmina Kharisma Sudjatmiko and his beloved wife Yovana Kesi.
"During this pandemic we are mostly at home, meetings are held online. Whereas previously the meeting was always held in the office or a place agreed with colleagues. Because of this pandemic, I am mostly at home and can accompany my children who study online as well,” said the man who was born in Majenang, Cilacap, Central Java, March 10, 1970.
Activities that are usually carried out outside the city, continued the declaration of the People's Democratic Party (PRD) drastically reduced. Almost all meetings that are usually held face-to-face have been replaced by webinars. “Now the meeting can be completed with a webinar. It's been more than a year I haven't been busy with activities outside the city," he said.
When asked if he is a romantic and fierce father at home? He gave this answer. "Actually, I'm normal. I'm sometimes grumpy too, you know, hehehe," said the man who is usually called Mas Iko, in his family circle, with a burst of laughter.
A moment later, the functionary of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP) explained that the orientation in learning between people in the past and people now is not the same. “In the past people learned to work, now people work to learn. Because there is always something new almost every day that will affect our lives. So if you don't continue to study and find solutions, there will be problems," he said.
Budiman completed his primary and secondary education and went on to higher education in three different cities; Cilacap, Bogor and Yogyakarta. His attention to farmers became more intense when he studied at the Faculty of Economics, Gadjah Mada University (UGM).
After that he and his colleagues founded the People's Democratic Party (PRD). The presence of the PRD in the midst of the hegemony of the New Order is something very important and has become a historical record of this country. And Budiman as the PRD's declarator soared his name.
Dealing with PRD affairs, the pulpit was free in front of the PDI office on Jalan Diponegoro, Central Jakarta and in the end was tried by the New Order regime with a sentence of 13 years. And he had to languish in prison. However, during the regime change with the fall of President Suharto, Budiman received an amnesty from the government of Abdurahman Wahid on December 10, 1999. He only served a sentence of 3.5 years. But unfortunately for one reason or another he then left the party he was born into.
After his release, Budiman resumed his studies, unmitigated, he managed to get a master's degree in International Relations, at the University of Cambridge, England and an MA in Political Studies at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London, England. .
As a politician, Mas Iko does not want his son to be involved in politics like himself. He prefers his son to be a scientist. “My wife and children rarely ask about politics. I would be happier if she (daughter) would pursue science and technology in the future. I hope that my child can become a scientist, technologist or innovator in the field of technology,” he said.
What he did by building Algorithm Hill, still said Budiman Sudjatmiko, was indeed intended for his son and generations of his own age. “What I dream of may be realized through Algorithm Hill. This is for my son and the generation according to him. Therein lies the future of Indonesia's young generation. I want to build and create that," he said.
As a consequence, as a parent, he also has to accompany his child to grow and develop in a new era like today. “My father wants to create an ecosystem that is conducive to my son and his generation, so that he doesn't just become a person who likes science and technology alone. But he is in the midst of a generation of his age who also loves the same thing,” he said.
“In the past people learned to work, now people work to learn. Because there is always something new almost every day that will affect our lives. So if you don't keep learning and finding solutions, there will be problems."Budiman Sudjatmiko
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