Friday, December 01, 2006

Students' designs win national awards for future bicycle

Thursday, November 30, 2006
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Three students from a state high school in Denpasar are happy enough to have won the first and second prizes in a national bicycle design competition, but are unconvinced their works will ever see daylight.

"We are happy of course, but from our past experience we are afraid that these designs will never become real products because there is no financial support," said Gana Sudibya, who also once won second prize in the high school student category at a national electronics design competition.

On Saturday Gana, Budi Riyanta and Aditheya Indra from Denpasar took first and second prize in the high school student category of the bicycle competition, while Rinata Permana, Roghib Hujja and Didik Rahmawan from Purwokerto won third prize.

In the university student and public category, Doni Luwantoro, a Surabaya-based designer, won first prize, while Pandu Purwandaru, a student at the Bandung Institute of Technology and Aris Indarto, a student at Gajah Mada University won second and third prize respectively.

The competition, which opened in June, was held by Pancasila University in collaboration with the United Bike manufacturing company, the National Center for Design and the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights.

The judging committee received more than 80 entries from 12 provinces, which by the end of September had been whittled down to a shortlist of 30.

A final evaluation by the panel of four judges took into account each design's creativity, marketability, and aesthetic aspects, in addition to innovation relating to its mechanical components, structure and performance.

Eleven finalists gathered Friday in the hall of the department of technology at Pancasila University for the final evaluation.

Gana, Budi and Aditheya said they got the ideas for their "G-2, smart technology for healthy life" and "grasshopper" designs from characters in a children's movie about insects. They took home a total of Rp 2.5 million (US$228), two trophies and two bicycles.

"These are really imaginative ideas, if we don't want to call them crazy. Can you imagine a bicycle with a computer chip or hydrocarbon power? These students are really brilliant. I think that, as high school students, they must read a lot, because some of their ideas (involve) NASA-like technology," said Edi Jatmiko a judge from Pancasila University.

"As an educator, however, we have to encourage these efforts, and it is not impossible to bring them into reality," he added.

Another judge, Janto Hasan, said most of the designs simply needed slight modifications in order to be manufactured.

"There are some designs (that currently would have) high production costs, but we only need to change some materials and to do some slight alterations to the design if we want to produce them on a large scale," he said.

Budi Darmadi, the director general of transportation and telecommunications at the Industry Ministry, said that Indonesia needed to increase its bicycle production because the national demand for bikes exceeded supply.

"The national demand is five billion a year; meanwhile we can only produce two billion a year. Moreover, about 650,000 of those produced nationally are earmarked for export," said Darmadi.

He added that he encouraged the university to rush through the intellectual property rights applications for the designs and send the prototypes to the upcoming national industrial exhibition.

Fahri Hamzah, a member of the House of Representatives' industrial commission, said he would urge his colleagues at the commission to adopt policies that were in favor of the bicycle industry.

"We hope that this competition will not merely emphasize the design but will also make applying for intellectual property rights a priority," he said.

Lahindah, a judge from the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights, said that the winning designs would be registered for intellectual property rights.

"The designs are may not fall into the category of originality, but are in the category of newness and industrial applicability" she said. (02)

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