Expanding international collaboration was a challenge for Balai Besar Inseminasi Buatan (BBIB) Singosari, the Center for Artificial Insemination. However, through collaborative research partnership with SHERA’s Center for Collaborative Research Animal Biotechnology and Coral Reef Fisheries (CCR ANBIOCORE), BBIB has had the opportunity to enhance its researchers’ capacity as well as to broaden its international networks. Led by Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB), ANBIOCORE focuses on strategic collaborative engagement in animal (livestock and fisheries) biotechnology for sustainable food production through innovative research and high-quality education.
As one of the world’s most populous countries, Indonesia must maintain its livestock supply to ensure food security. Balai Besar Inseminasi Buatan (BBIB) Singosari, the Center for Artificial Insemination, supplies 60 percent of frozen semen production for Indonesia’s livestock supply needs in Indonesia, making it the largest center of its kind in the country. Despite its large output, BBIB Singosari struggled to improve its researchers’ capacity. “We provide resources, such as laboratory and its facilities, frozen semen, research samples, reagents, and experts for external partners. But our researchers have limited opportunity to join in collaborative research due to their daily routines,” said Drh. Enniek Hewijanti, Head of BBIB Singosari.
In 2018, Universitas Brawijaya (UB), an ANBIOCORE affiliate institution, opened the door to international partnerships for BBIB Singosari. In partnership with ANBIOCORE, BBIB Singosari researchers directly participated in the research process with UB scholars, enhanced their knowledge related to Madura cattle, and even became co-authors on several academic publications. BBIB Singosari’s researchers also participated in ANBIOCORE trainings and workshops, including an academic writing training led by Dr. Erdogan Memili from Mississippi State University in early 2019.
“Being part of ANBIOCORE is an added value for BBIB Singosari. This collaboration is considered by the central government as an international engagement between Indonesian and the US institutions,” remarked Enniek. As a state-owned laboratory under the Ministry of Agriculture, this is a great achievement for the organization, as the central government considers international collaboration a key indicator for the improved capacity of the organization.
According to Enniek, BBIB Singosari has received broader recognition from reputable universities since joining ANBIOCORE, thanks to the USAID SHERA program’s broad network in Indonesia and the U.S. As a result, many Indonesian universities have visited BBIB Singosari to learn more about its animal biotechnology research.
Although ANBIOCORE completed its grant under the USAID SHERA program in January 2020, the CCR is maintaining its partnership with BBIB Singosari and UB as it continues to collaborate with both institutions on animal biotechnology research. As Enniek shared, “We have built the network and will utilize it for further potential collaboration.”
BBIB Singosari’s collaboration with ANBIOCORE provided the CCR’s researchers with access to laboratory space and a new network in Indonesia. In turn, the ANBIOCORE partnership also provided an added value for BBIB Singosari. Through ANBIOCORE, BBIB Singosari gained access to an international partnership network that helped the research institution achieve government indicators, conduct collaborative research with reputable universities, enhance the capacity of its researchers, and co-author academic publications.