Australia-Indonesia Innovation

View the book as a PDF here.

Indonesia and Australia have been collaborating in science and innovation for many years. And we continue to build on these partnerships: developing a better vaccine for rotavirus, the gastro-bug that kills around 200,000 children globally each year; discovering the Hobbit; helping each other in times of crisis such as the Black Saturday bushfires or Bali bombings; and predicting fires, floods and earthquakes that will affect the region.

With the largest economy in Southeast Asia and the world’s fourth-largest population, Indonesia has its sights set on continued economic growth. There are opportunities for Australia both to support and learn from its neighbour— particularly in the shared challenges the countries face with infrastructure and sustainable development.

The following short stories are just a taste of the diverse projects that are engaging Indonesian and Australian scientists in research that’s changing both nations. You can view the PDF of the book (right) or read the stories as individual pieces below.

About the collection

Stories of Australia-Indonesia Innovation is the result of a collaboration between Science in Public and The Australia-Indonesia Centre. The stories were selected after Science in Public put out a public call for ideas.

The list is not meant to be a comprehensive summary of Australia-Indonesia research underway or completed—it is a celebration of the diversity of collaborative projects. Science in Public and the Centre wish to thank the researchers and institutions that have made this publication possible.


Building port cities
Riding the rails to an efficient freight system
Building sustainable, resilient ports and cities: The Australia-Indonesia Centre Infrastructure Cluster

Keeping ahead of a child killer: stopping gastro from birth
Breeding mosquitoes to eliminate dengue
Helping Javanese children hear
New targets for tuberculosis vaccine
The future of Indonesian mental health
Ultra-sensitive dengue detection
Can sunshine help prevent pneumonia?
Detecting high risk pregnancies in Indonesia
Identifying the Bali bombers; testing for bird flu; and better selection of anti-malarial drugs
Fighting the new killers: The Australia-Indonesia Centre Health Cluster
Signs of the dietary environment
Identifying victims in the Black Saturday bush fires
Healthcare for the ‘missing middle’
Health shorts:
The impact of rotavirus
A universal flu vaccine
Boosting vaccine performance
A five-in-one vaccine for all Indonesian children
PT Bio Farma
What’s killing people?

Giving start-ups a fair go
Better shelters for Indonesia’s street vendors
Citizen science recovering volcanic farmlands
Carving out success in wooden exports

Environment and conservation
Using mangroves to fight climate change
Clever spending for orangutans, elephants, and people
Lemons to keep elephants out of trouble
Manta rays munching on micro-plastics
Is the Bali ocean sunfish tourism sustainable?
Lessons in conservation from indigenous practices
Better ways to conserve the Coral Triangle
Leapfrogging towards water sensitive cities: The Australia-Indonesia Centre Urban Water Cluster
What roles do women play in fishing communities?

Putting a figure on the cost of algae to ships
Better, safer lithium batteries
Designing the coolest tropical houses
Affordable, sustainable energy for all: The Australia-Indonesia Energy Cluster
An end to Indonesia’s hospital power blackouts?

Sharing expertise, not pests
International demand for Indonesian coffee
Safer farms for poultry and people
Saving Indonesia’s cocoa

Earth sciences
Predicting where gold and copper lie 
Finding the Hobbit and more
Making artificial tsunamis to prepare for the worst
What happened to Asia’s lost ‘elephants’ ?
Re-evaluating Jakarta’s seismic risk
Predicting fire, flood, and food shortages

Concept: Niall Byrne,
Editor: Lydia Hales,
Writers: Lydia Hales, Niall Byrne, Ellie Michaelides

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