Thailand university-manufacturing agreement to drive economic growth
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) has entered into an agreement this month with eight of the country’s leading universities to improve the link between the university and manufacturing sectors within research.
This agreement was signed in collaboration with Thailand’s Research University Network (RUN), a higher education allowance which was set up in 2015, and will aid the sharing of knowledge and information between RUNI member universities and industrial operators.
The aim is to foster innovation and boost the global competitiveness of the nation.
The Thailand university-manufacturing agreement hopes to stimulate a collaboration between the private sector’s demand driven R&D activities, cooperative education programs and high-skilled workforce recruitment.
Ms Duangjai Asawachintachit, Secretary General of the BOI said: “This agreement reinforces the BOI’s facilitation role in fostering cooperation between business and academics to increase research and development in Thailand and to strengthen our manufacturers’ competitiveness in key technologies.
“With the support of RUN, we can now draw on a large pool of expertise and knowledge to develop and commercialise new products and services, for the benefit of investors and the economy at large.”
In the five years to 2017, the R&D expenditures in Thailand have doubled to 1 percent of the GDP, according to the Office of the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council.
The goal is to increase to 1.5 percent by 2021, as part of the Government’s Thailand 4.0 policy which is targeting economic growth through innovation.
The BOI will help bring international talent to Thailand’s universities
The BOI will facilitate the universities’ own talent recruitment needs and academic development.
Smart Visas will be provided to foreign lecturers and researchers in target areas, which allows qualified applicants and their families to work and stay for renewable periods of up to four years.
RUN coordinates research in its member universities by combining knowledge and sharing resources.
The alliance was set up by four institutions located in Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Thammsat University and Mahidol University, as well as four institutes located in major provincial cities: Chiang Mai University, Khon Kaen University, Prince of Songkla University and Naresuan University.
Researchers within the network coordinate their work in 10 research clusters, with areas of focus on climate change, logistics, advanced materials, robotics, agriculture, energy, digital technologies, health and functional food.
Photo: Thailand Board of Investment