CALS signs MOU with Indonesia’s Food and Drug Authority

A delegation of officials from the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority of the Republic of Indonesia – called Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan (BPOM) in Bahasa – visited the UW­–Madison campus Sept. 23-24 to meet campus partners and sign a Memorandum of Understanding with university leaders.

The MOU – signed by Penny Lukito, head of the Indonesian FDA, CALS Dean Kathryn VandenBosch, and International Division Vice Provost and Dean Guido Podestá – describes how the parties will work together to help strengthen food and drug development and safety regulatory systems in Indonesia through skills development and capacity building.

Representatives from CALS, the International Division and the Indonesian FDA gathered to sign an agreement laying the groundwork for future collaboration. Photo courtesy of UW–Madison International Division.

CALS’ partnership with the Indonesian FDA has been in discussion for many years, with the vision for the relationship actualized and formalized this summer. Ahead of the MOU signing, campus’ Food Research Institute hosted a webinar series for BPOM staff on the development of food safety systems for dairy products. The virtual training program, which ran six hours over three sessions, was attended by 17 staff members. FRI is already developing a second webinar series for November on testing foods for foodborne pathogens, and the plan is to continue offering trainings online—and hopefully in person down the line.

In addition to capacity-building activities such as trainings, the MOU opens avenues for collaborative research projects, educational opportunities, and other projects of mutual interest such as scientific exchanges.

During the delegation’s visit, the group toured the FRI and the National Magnetic Resonance Facility at Madison (NMRFAM) at CALS. Delegation members also met with representatives from campus’ Indonesian Student Association, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

“Drawing on CALS’ globally recognized expertise in food science and safety, this MOU enables Indonesia to benefit from direct engagement with our leading scientists and educators,” says CALS Global Interim Director Jennifer Kushner, who helped coordinate the development of the MOU and the delegation visit. “Likewise, our CALS community is strengthened through its relationship with BPOM, and we are excited for all that this partnership holds.”