In a virtual meeting on Sunday, Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari hosted Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
Also, a delegation led by the Indonesian Deputy Minister of Health Abdul Qadir also met with Sattari to discuss expanded bilateral cooperation.
A contract was signed between the two countries to export Iran-made surgical robots and establish two centers for remote robotic surgery skills in Bandung and Jogjakarta.
The agreements are also set to create a joint accelerator between the two countries to further develop medical biotechnology startups and commercialize them.
Sattari expressed readiness to export domestically-made medicine and medical equipment to Indonesia, especially, coronavirus protective equipment.
Referring to the successful production of new treatment medicine for coronavirus, he stated that currently, more than 400 high-tech companies are operating in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment sector.
“We are ready to start bilateral scientific and technological cooperation in the field of health with Indonesia and to develop any cooperation in the field of joint ventures, technology exchange in various scientific and academic fields, and research projects,” he further suggested.
During the virtual meeting, Sadikin also said that Indonesia needs to buy medicine from Iran, medicine produced with sophisticated and applied technology and those effective in the treatment of coronavirus disease.
Innovation in Iran developed rapidly in 5 years
Knowledge-based companies and creative startups have grown over the past five years, and Iran has risen 45 places in the Global Innovation Index, according to the UNESCO 2021 Report.
The Global Innovation Index in Iran from 2015 to 2019 has risen from 106 to 61 with continuous improvement, showing 45 steps growth.
The development of accelerators and innovation centers over the last five years has led to a rapid increase in startups and knowledge-based companies.
Between 2014 and 2017, exports of knowledge-based goods grew by a factor of five, before slumping in 2018 after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (2015), commonly referred to as the nuclear deal, and re-imposed sanctions.
The report states that innovation in Iran has developed rapidly over the past five years, and by the end of last year, 49 accelerators and 113 innovation centers had provided services to start-ups with the participation of the private sector.
Despite sanctions putting pressure on the country, a unique opportunity was provided for business development and the activity of knowledge-based companies in the country.
Currently, over 7,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the country, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency.
The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.
In recent years, the vice presidency for science and technology has been supporting knowledge-based companies active in the production of sanctioned items.
Revenue from sales of technological products of companies located in science and technology parks in 2020 was close to 137 billion rials (nearly $3.2 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which compared to 4.6 billion rials (about $152,000) in 2013, shows the growth of 2878 percent.
This issue was quite evident in the export sector of these companies so that the export of knowledge-based products was equal to $1.14 million, but this amount increased to $63.2 million in 2018, while reached $98 million in 2020, despite the very harsh sanctions imposed on the country.