The students and supervising lecturers, who were accompanied by the President Director of Shell Indonesia, Darwin Silalahi, were warmly greeted by President Jokowi. The event was also attended by the State Secretary Minister, Pratikno and the Minister of Research and Higher Education, Mohamad Nasir.

In the meeting with President Jokowi, Shell introduced the energy-efficient vehicle competition (SEM) and the achievements of the Indonesian teams in six consecutive years. "We are happy for the President’s support and encouragement to our Indonesian SEM teams to keep innovating and to be an inspiration to a wider segment of students, and especially to motivate them to be directly involved in creating solutions for future energy needs," said Darwin Silalahi. The Indonesian teams have participated in the energy-efficient vehicle competition SEM ASIA from 2010 to 2015, and they have won various achievements each year.

Darwin added that energy companies, such as Shell, are expected to provide ideas and solutions in response to future energy challenges, the impacts of which can be felt today. Smarter mobility is one of the innovative solutions in the transportation sector and Shell contributes in this field through the SEM.

“Our main business activity in the transportation sector is to provide energy in the form of fuel and lubricants. Currently, there are 900 million cars and trucks, and in 2050 the number will increase to be 2 billion. The required energy for transportation will be economically expensive and produce high carbon emission, causing environmental damage. Therefore, the participation of Indonesian students in SEM Asia is vital to overcome this global issue, by creating energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles while adhering to safety principles,” said Darwin.

Shell Eco-marathon is the most innovative and challenging international annual competition in energy-efficient cars innovation for students and university students across Europe, America, and Asia. SEM is not a competition to create the fastest cars, but to create an efficient vehicle for the future that still meets the safety requirements, meaning a vehicle that can travel the most distance by using the least energy source. Students are challenged to design, build, and test their energy-efficient vehicles.

Future Automotive Innovator

Commenting on the meeting with President Jokowi, a SEM supervising lecturer from the University of Sumatra Utara (USU) Dr. Himsar Ambarita said, “Shell Eco-marathon provides the students with extremely valuable practical experience as well as prepares them to become future innovators in the automotive industry. The meeting with the President has further motivated us to earn achievements in the international level.”

Andy Anzi, a participant of SEM Asia 2015 from UNS Solo who attended the meeting stated, “We are proud to be part of this competition, which have given us experience and international networking opportunities, particularly in the subjects of innovation, technology, and energy. We want to prove that the millenial generation of Indonesia could make the entire nation proud in international events.”

In the upcoming SEM Asia 2016, the 27 SEM teams from Indonesia will compete in the categories of UrbanConcept and Prototype vehicles, as well as the sub-categories of various energy sources: gasoline, diesel, ethanol, Gas to Liquid (GTL), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), hydrogen, and electric battery. The Prototype category covers futuristic vehicles designed to maximize the efficiency of energy sources with innovative design elements. Meanwhile, the UrbanConcept category covers the design of conventional fuel-efficient four-wheeled vehicles to accommodate current driving needs. The SEM team from Indonesia will also compete in the off-track category, comprising of Communications Award, Shell Helix Tribology Award, Vehicle Design Award, Technical Innovation Award, Safety Award, and Perseverance & Spirit of the Event Award.