Minister: Bali Can Become Location For Genomic Data Research Center

According to a report published by Antara News, Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Indonesia’s Health Minister believes Bali could become a location to develop a genomic data research center to boost health innovations, as part of efforts to create a healthier future generation.

The Genomic Data Science Fact Sheet describes genomic data science as a field of study that enables researchers to use powerful computational and statistical methods to decode the functional information hidden in DNA sequences.

“Bali has the quality and capability to build and prepare health infrastructures,” Sadikin said while delivering his remarks at the Tri Hita Kirana (THK) Forum Road to G20 event in Bali on Saturday (August 27).

Sadikin said, the COVID-19 pandemic had raised awareness on the need for robust and comprehensive health architecture to face emergencies and increasing preparedness to create a resilient society.

“The process towards this goal could begin by managing the hundreds of millions of genomic data collected during the pandemic,” he said.

According to him, the pandemic has presented Indonesia with an opportunity to manage hundreds of millions of genomic data that will be used as a research basis. The aim is to make health innovations so that the world will be more prepared to face future pandemics.

“The development of this international (health) architecture center is in line with the Kerthi Bali economic roadmap conveyed by President Joko Widodo. The President emphasized the importance of economic diversification in Bali so that it does not only depend on the tourism sector,” he remarked.

To implement the Kerthi Bali economic roadmap, the Ministry of Health has made several efforts to process the genomic data, for example, build a genomic research center at Udayana University and held a meeting with East Venture to support bioresearch in Bali, say Antara News.

“To this end, we are opening opportunities for foreign companies to establish research centers and other investments in the health sector in Indonesia. However, the monetization must still be carried out in Indonesia and offer benefits to the community,” the minister said.

Director of Financial Engineering at MIT Sloan School of Management Andrew Lo emphasized that health is a global issue that need support from all stakeholders to handle it.

Andrew noted that a bio fund of USD 30-billion is needed to increase the scale of the impact and reduce financial risks.

“It can be achieved with a blended finance scheme, namely using public funds as a catalyst to attract investment from private funding massively,” he said.

Source: Antara News, Genomic Data Science Fact Sheet

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