“Innovation Thailand” a big pace towards “innovation nation”
Thailand was ranked 44th out of 126 countries in the 2018 Global Innovation Index (GIX). The country jumped forward seven positions in the ranking from the 51st in the 2017 report. The score has consecutively improved during 2014-2018.
Interestingly, Thailand was ranked 5th of the middle-income group with innovation capacity, following to China, Malaysia, Bulgaria, and Croatia. The remarkable performance has proved that innovation is an effective mechanism to drive the country growth.
To moving toward an “innovation nation”, Thailand needs to have open innovation for collaboration, knowledge sharing, R&D and use of innovations, shifting from value-added economy to value-based creative economy.
The creation of area-based innovation, in both of city or district, and crowd-based innovation will be a shortcut to achieve the goal.
Yothi Innovation District
The Science and Technology ministry teams up with Education and Public Health ministries to set up “Yothi Medical Innovation District” aiming to be a medical Silicon Valley on the space of 1.7 million sq. m. The initiative will help reduce imported medical supplies and devices that Thailand brings in over 200 billion baht each year.
Besides Youthi, the next area-based innovation is “Cyber Tech” on Punnawithi road where National Innovation Agency (NIA) has partnered with True Corp on the Cyber Tech Innovation District, and Pathumwan Creative Innovation District.
Meanwhile, it requires crowd-based innovation in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Department to use geographical indication to create value to the products and services.
NIA is shifting to be innovation accelerator
NIA Executive Director Pun-Arj Chairatana said NIA was set up a decade ago and it will adjust its role from an innovation centre and grant supporter to be a “national innovation accelerator”.
NIA, in collaboration with True Corp running Cyber Tech to support the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), to bring innovation differentiating the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) sector.
In life science technology, the NIA has partnered with the Thailand Centre of Excellence of Life Science.
NIA will be a bridge connecting innovators with the commercial market through the network of partners.
The agency targets that innovations will create some 3.5 billion baht of value to the businesses of the partner network.
Meanwhile, the education will be adjusted from traditional education of teaching university and research university to be entrepreneurial university based on the knowledge and research serving for new businesses and the economic and social growth.
Business sector, meanwhile, should also adjust to serve the new startups leading to innovation business development as well as business solutions and models. Those cover incubation, acceleration and regulations amendment. All the efforts aim to facilitate regional entrepreneur access to resource and facilities by which the universities serve as the regional growth pole.
Innovation Fair reflects strength of Thailand
NIA held “Innovation Festival” the first Innovation Thailand Expo 2018 at BITEC, during October 4-7 featuring how the country is driven by innovations. The festival enables Thais to enjoy with variety of innovation activities of FAIR, innovation showcase, FIN innovation business, FUN innovation experience.
All seven zones of the exhibition including the exhibition to honor the Father of Thai innovations, 80 innovation projects in 10 industry, healthcare, tourism, MICE, food, agriculture, education, finance, business solution and lifestyle and such flagship project as Yothi medical innovation district and Punnawithi Cyber Tech.
At the event, the ceremony of innovation award for 126 projects was also staged alongside innovations of Thai and foreign startups such as a company from Israel who developed a generator that pulls water vapor from the air to harvest drinking water, Denso barista robot from Japan, as well as collaboration announcement of partnership organisations.