Jakarta Smart City bridges R&D and digital talent gaps to drive transformation ambitions

By Mochamad Azhar

The head of the Jakarta Smart City (JSC) Management Unit explained his organisation’s vision to support Jakarta in becoming a global smart city with the help of technology and human resources.

Yudhistira Nugraha, Head of Jakarta Smart City, talks about the steps needed to realise Jakarta’s vision of becoming a world-class smart city by increasing the capacity of digital talent. Image: Jakarta Smart City.

“We have developed a digital economy ecosystem, implemented data-based policies, and provided an integrated public service platform, JAKI (Jakarta Kini),” said Yudhistira Nugraha, Head of the Jakarta Smart City (JSC) Management Unit. 

“Further initiatives will be developed with a focus on research and increasing the capacity of digital talent.”

Speaking at the Jakarta Smart City Forum event held in Jakarta 14 November 2023, Yudhistira explained the various innovations that have been implemented to support talent and future plans to support Jakarta’s vision as a global smart city.

Digital talent is a key factor

Yudhistira emphasised that skilled digital talent will be a determining factor in Jakarta’s transformation into a world-class smart city. 

“A technological approach alone is not enough. For us, a smart city is technology plus people,” he said.

“If we talk about India, we are talking about world-class programmers. South Korea is also famous for producing recognised game developers. We want Jakarta to become a city that produces world-class data scientists,” said Yudhistira.

JSC works with industry to develop digital talent pipelines that suit industry needs. Upskilling is targeted at the sectors that support Jakarta, namely the service and trade sectors.

JSC is currently building digital talent capacity through the Data Science Trainee and “JSC goes to School” programmes. Students and IT practitioners can attend the Data Science Trainee programme to develop solutions to urban problems.

Leading digital talent initiatives

Through the Data Science Trainee programme, participants are guided to develop a problem statement, analyse data, and apply simple statistical and machine learning models. Launched in 2020, the programme has now entered its seventh batch.

This programme is JSC’s flagship as a platform to produce data scientists who are relevant and important for industry. 

One such solution highlighted at the event was a project that used a text algorithm to make it easier for residents using the “Citizen Reports” feature on the JAKI superapp to get faster services.

JSC also conducts the “JSC Goes to School” programme, visiting schools to teach students about how technology can solve problems.

“We are targeting digital talents from an early age, from school students to those in university because this generation will be leaders in the era of Golden Indonesia 2045,” said Yudhistira.

The digital talent programmes at JSC involve academics, technology innovators, the private sector and representatives from other smart cities in Indonesia. “We are very open to collaboration and we would be very happy if our programme was replicated in other cities in Indonesia,” he added.

Six global smart city ambitions

Yudhistira said that there were six global smart city visions prepared by the DKI Jakarta Regional Planning Agency, encompassing economic and livability objectives.

Jakarta will be investing in digital startups, as well as research and innovation, to drive digital economy and smart city efforts.

Next, the city is collaborating with DKI Jakarta Health Service to improve access to healthcare and provide information regarding health services to improve the city’s livability.

The agency is also working with DKI Environmental Service to deploy sensors that can provide real-time air health information and improve the flood early-warning system. It is also collaborating with the Department of Tourism and Creative Economy to provide multilingual information services to boost the city’s appeal as a tourist destination.

Finally, the agency is working with the central government and neighbouring cities to improve inter- and intra-city connectivity. 

“All steps to realise Jakarta as a global smart city carried out by JSC are carried out in a participatory and collaborative manner by involving aspects of environmental sustainability,” concluded Yudhistira.

This article was originally written in Bahasa Indonesia here, and has been translated by Yogesh Hirdaramani.