Research In Motion inaugurated on Thursday its BlackBerry Innovation Center, the first of its kind in Indonesia, at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) campus in Bandung.
The center will provide opportunities for ITB students to engage in educational and research programs focusing on mobile app development.
“The ultimate goal of the BlackBerry Innovation Center is to accelerate the mobile computing industry in Indonesia by providing students with the skills, education and experience they need to get jobs and build businesses in the sector,” RIM said in a press statement on its website.
RIM’s vice president and managing director for South Asia, Hastings Sigh, was quoted as saying that the establishment of the center was proof of RIM’s commitment to Indonesia, where BlackBerry had been the leader of the smartphone market before it was recently toppled by Android products.
In the second quarter of the year, Android became the most popular operating system in Indonesia’s
smartphone market, commanding a 52 percent share, according to
International Data Corporation, an IT and telecommunication research
group, in a report released in September. It didn’t give comparable
figures for the first quarter.
RIM says BlackBerry still controls 54 percent of the overall smartphone market, up from 20 percent in 2009.
RIM has reportedly invested $5 million to establish and run the center, in collaboration with ITB. Under the partnership, RIM will grant each year for the next five years research scholarships in mobile computing for 30 ITB students.
The center is part of the BlackBerry Academic Program, under which RIM says it has been working with over 50 education institutions across Indonesia to educate students on BlackBerry mobile app development.
The chairman of the ITB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development, Suhono Supangkat, said ITB students were “excited” with the new center, citing the high number of applications to work with the center from students.
“We hope the BlackBerry Innovation Center will produce future entrepreneurs and leaders for the Indonesian mobile computing industry,” Suhono said.