In a significant step reinforcing their strong commitment to innovation and the commercialization of research products, the Rector of Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Prof. Reini Wirahadikusumah recently made a notable visit to the Catalyst Factory of Sinergi Indonesia (KSI) in Cikampek. PT KSI, a joint venture owned by ITB through PT Rekacipta Inovasi ITB, PT Pertamina through PT Pertamina Lubricants, and PT Pupuk Indonesia through PT Pupuk Kujang, represents a strategic alliance in the realm of research and industrial collaboration. The visit saw the attendance of key figures, including members of the ITB Center for Catalysis and Reaction Engineering such as the esteemed catalyst researchers Prof. Subagjo and team, as well as representatives from BPUDL, LPPM, LPIK, LPIT, PT RII, and PT LAPI ITB. The ITB team’s visit was warmly received by the board of directors of PT KSI, further cementing the relationship between academia and industry in advancing technological innovation.
In her address, Rector of ITB took a moment to reflect on the inception of PT Katalis Sinergi Indonesia (KSI) during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the establishment of PT KSI as a meticulously strategic decision, acknowledging the pivotal role of catalyst products in the nation’s energy sector and the challenge posed by ITB’s lack of direct experience in the catalyst industry. The Rector expressed sincere gratitude for the unwavering support and selfless contributions from various entities, underscoring a profound sense of optimism and goodwill
Despite initial uncertainties surrounding PT KSI’s formation, the visit to the factory, which stands as a testament to the venture’s achievements, filled the Rector with a deep sense of appreciation and pride. This accomplishment not only demonstrates remarkable technical advancements but also signifies a boost in confidence among state-owned companies and other stakeholders towards ITB. The Rector’s visit epitomizes how initial scepticism can be transformed into an inspiring narrative of success, borne out of robust collaboration and steadfast commitment.
The Director of RII, Alam Indrawan, as the shareholder of KSI, gave a perspective on the importance of PT KSI’s success story as a future model for the commercialization of ITB’s technology. He emphasized the importance of patent commercialization in the form of equity and the necessity of realizing the welfare of the inventors.
Dr. Melia Gunawan, representing the ITB Catalysis Engineering Center, spoke about the development of the “Merah-Putih” catalyst, a research initiative completely originating from Indonesia, spanning from the research phase to production. She emphasized the reliance of the Indonesian chemical industry on imported catalysts and elaborated on how the development of this catalyst has been in progress since 2003, facilitated by research collaboration and grants from the government and PT Pertamina.
The primary goal of this catalyst production is to generate green fuel, meet national catalyst needs, and reduce reliance on imports. With a production capacity of up to 800 million tons annually, including demands for hydrotreating and oleochemical catalysts, the factory is ready for its first production shipment to Balikpapan. Moreover, Ecogreen, a Batam-based utlizing this catalyst, has a demand of approximately 133 tons.
The ITB Rector’s visit to the Factory of Katalis Sinergi Indonesia transcends mere formality, symbolizing a profound commitment to advancing science and technology in Indonesia. This initiatives marks a substantial stride toward reducing import dependency and bolstering national technological and energy self-reliance. It also exemplifies the immense potential of collaboration between educational institutions and the domestic industry.