Indonesian lecturers work with Lego at Business Academy Aarhus

A delegation from the Indonesian University Tanjunpura, which is situated on the island of Borneo, has come to Aarhus to learn how to teach innovation and entrepreneurship.

A stack of Lego pieces are strewn across one of the tables in a classroom at Sønderhøj 48. The pieces are assembled one by one by the vice-principal and four lecturers from Tanjungpura University. Bent over the table in deep concentration, the five giggle and exchange curious glances as they build away on their vision. This exercise is one among many that the delegation from the Indonesian university was exposed to during their visit to the Academy on the 18 and 19 September. The aim is to prepare the Indonesians so that they can implement innovation processes with their own students in their newly established centre for entrepreneurship.

Urgent need

According to the university’s vice-principal Ferry Hadary there is a great and urgent need to train young Indonesians in how to start their own businesses or expand existing ones.

‘We need creativity in Borneo. At the moment, there are no educational institutions that teach either innovation or entrepreneurship. Nor are there any companies that work with innovative technology and new solutions. The brightest university graduates leave Borneo and find attractive jobs elsewhere. Therefore, we need to do something to create jobs and strengthen our competitiveness’, says Mr Hadary.

Support from Danida

The collaboration between the Academy and Tanjungpura University is part of the ‘Danida Business Partnerships’ project which also includes the Bornholm energy company Østkraft A/S. This is the first time that a Danish educational institution is part of a Danida project in Borneo, says businessman and project manager Jan Høybye.

‘We want to transfer knowhow and technology from Denmark to Borneo and hopefully create jobs, improve competitiveness and promote a shared, social responsibility. The goal is that the Indonesians become able to reinvent things, get ideas, develop them and market them - within energy and environmental technology for example’, he says.

Brewery Visit

The delegation visited Incuba Science Park’s office community and the Academy’s Biotechnical, Food and Process Technology programme in Hasselager Alle. Students here work innovatively with wastewater, clean drinking water and brew beer with well water in their own brewery. They then treat the wastewater in their own treatment plant. In addition, the delegation met a team of entrepreneurial students. Four of them are Danish champions in entrepreneurship who invented a safe, intravenous feeding system.

‘It’s incredibly inspiring to see that there are so many ideas, and that students are able to realise them. We cannot copy the teaching methods and processes as Indonesian students are very different from Danish students, but we can adapt them to our own culture’, says lecturer Kiki Utomo from Tanjungpura University.

Win-win

The Academy is working to strengthen their goal of knowledge transfer and internationalisation with this collaboration. The Academy has previously trained both Polish and Tanzanian entrepreneurs.

‘We see this partnership as a great opportunity to gain more international experience and hope that it will also result in exchanges between Aarhus and Borneo for some of our teachers and students’, says senior consultant Thomas Hey from the Academy.