Microsoft and UID Partner to build centre to cultivate creative economy

Indonesia, BALI, Oct 7, 2013 – The United in Diversity (UID) Forum and Microsoft Indonesia today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly develop a Technology and Innovation Center on the newly announced UID Creative Campus in Bali, Indonesia.

Through the MoU, both UID and Microsoft will join forces to enhance learning, creativity, entrepreneurship and employability in the country. The campus will empower its graduates with training, skills and resources to unleash their creativity and help them innovate for real economic impact in Indonesia.

“From a national competitiveness standpoint, Indonesia has made great strides in recent years, thanks to extensive infrastructure development. However, I believe that technology, innovation, and creative thinking are the catalysts that will thrust the country into becoming a developed economy. This partnership is a big step forward in making that a reality and I commend Microsoft’s continued investments in developing Indonesia’s human capital,” said Mari Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy.

The MOU contemplates an initial five-year commitment by Microsoft to the UID Creative Campus to include contributions of cutting edge technology, devices and software, as well as other in-kind support from Microsoft employees who are industry leaders in their respective fields.

UID is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2003 to serve as an education platform and to act as a catalyst for trust-building and cooperation among business, the public sector, and civil society for the betterment of Indonesia.

“Indonesia is at the cusp of a great leap towards becoming a knowledge economy, and we believe that public-private sector collaboration on the country’s top priority—education—will further propel the country’s competitiveness in the region,” said Andreas Diantoro, President-Director of Microsoft Indonesia.

In the Global Competitiveness Report released by the World Economic Forum in September, Indonesia jumped 12 places to 38th, mainly due to infrastructure improvements. The country’s technological readiness also improved by 10 positions, but the use of technology by the population at large remains comparatively low.

“Microsoft is committed to education and human capital development, and we are very excited to collaborate on a project that will help create a more innovative workforce in Indonesia” added Diantoro.

By building on Indonesia’s rich culture, heritage and traditions, the UID Creative Campus will help local and foreign students build real skills for innovation, entrepreneurship and employment. It will train students in retail and services, technology, culinary arts, advertising, fashion, music, product design, media, leadership, language and other areas of study. The campus will also cultivate a startup culture, and push students to go from creative ideas to commercialization and scaling.

Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Pangestu has underlined that activity in the creative fields already accounts for about 7 percent of Indonesia’s economy, and she wants to boost that to over 11 percent of GDP.

“Partnerships with industry leaders such as Microsoft are critical in ensuring that the Creative Campus is a key driver in the development of a creative economy. Not only does Microsoft have the technological expertise and industry experience, its unparalleled partner ecosystem also offers the opportunity for our students to connect with businesses directly, “said Jatna Supriatna, CEO of UID.

Under the agreement signed today at the International Conference on Sustainable Development 2013 in Bali, Microsoft will bring to the table its extensive experience on developing programs in the areas of skills and workforce development, innovation, and industry partnerships.

BizSpark, one of those programs, provides free software and tools to startups and already counts 162 Indonesian startups as members. A Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) is also envisioned at the Creative Campus—it would be the sixth such center in Indonesia, joining 13 other centers in Asia and more than 100 worldwide. Microsoft Innovation Centers are state of the art technology facilities for collaboration on innovative research, technology or software solutions, offering a comprehensive set of programs and services to foster innovation and grow sustainable local software economies.

In addition, Microsoft also plans to equip the Creative Campus with the latest software and hardware, including Windows 8.1 tablets, Office 365, Windows Azure, as well as state-of-the-art development software.

Astrid Tuminez, Regional Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs, Southeast Asia at Microsoft said “It is my hope that the campus in Bali will serve as a shining beacon for other countries in ASEAN, demonstrating that the right partnerships between government, NGOs and the private sector can be a catalyst for homegrown innovation.”

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