The Indonesia Regional Science Association (IRSA) is an Indonesian academic organization that actively promotes the advancement of research across the country. Each year since its establishment in 1997, the IRSA annual conference has been attended by a large number of academics and policymakers from numerous Indonesian institutions, creating a large network of people concerned with issues of regional development. This network has now reached a critical mass that can play a major role not only in the academic arena through research and publications but also contribute to the evidence-based regional development policies nationally, regionally, and locally.
The idea of forming an association for regional science in Indonesia goes back to the mid 1980s, when the Pacific Regional Science Conference Organization (PRSCO) conducted an international regional science seminar in Bandung. However, the idea of IRSA was not formalized until Budy P. Resosudarmo and Geoffrey Hewings organized a meeting on 12 December 1996 at the World Bank, Lippo Plaza, Jakarta and the IRSA Working Committee was formed . The Committee’s main task was to prepare the formation of IRSA.
On 13 March 1997, at the Sahid Hotel, Jakarta, the IRSA Working Committee hosted a gathering of those concerned with the development of regional science in Indonesia. A declaration to form the association was put forth and signed, marking the formal inauguration of IRSA. The meeting also resulted in the formation of the IRSA Formatur, a group of people tasked with anointing IRSA’s first president. Prof. Bambang Bintoro Soedjito was elected as the first president of IRSA in August 1997. The first IRSA International Conference held on 22 – 23 October 1998, at the President Hotel, Jakarta was organized by Bambang Brodjonegoro. Budy P. Resosudarmo organized the second IRSA International Conference held at the Kempinski Hotel, Jakarta on 28 February 2000. The IRSA International Conference has been conducted annually since then.