Queen Sirikit National Convention Center– Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, Minister of Education, presided over the opening of 2/2013 National Research Universities Summit on May 7, 2013.
During the opening ceremony, the minister said that, after visiting the exhibitions from many universities, he had seen a number of outstanding and interesting research projects.He admitted that in the present world, all kinds of products, services, and work processes, need research and development. For example, in the past we only had Chang Dao Brand sandals, which did not use any sophisticated knowledge in their production. However, shoe production in the presenttimerequires a lot of know-how, research, and development.Shoes of different kinds are produced specifically for walking, running, and playing sports. There are even some shoes that make you run faster and smoother. Even the dry ice smoke we see today will smell better with further research and development. In a car race, the equipment needed in the rest area such as brake pads or tiresalso need systems, research, and development, to make the whole process of changing equipment finish within a little more than two seconds.
Mr. Thepkanjana commended the research universities that showed their works at the exhibition. He said that many of the works were outstanding and could be used to bring great benefits to society. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her government place a lot of emphasis on research and development. She believes that if Thai people know how important it is, we will be able to gain many benefits for our country. She also believes that, in the future, people will demand and request the relevant officers to increase the budgets for research and development.
At present, the government plans that the public sector should support 30% of research finance while private sector provides 70%. This is because private organizations and businesses are the ones to gain direct benefits from the research and they can earn their profits from it as well. For example, they may invest 50 million baht on research and development but the results can bring them an income higher than that amount. This is why it should be easy for private organizations to do research.
The Minister of Education also said that universities should present themselves to businesses and private organizations, showing them the areas of interest in which they have expertise in study and research. Even a simple thing like how to reduce monthly electricity costscan be a topic for research for any inventions that save electricity will certainly be beneficial for society and bring income to the researcher as well. Universities can begin with small scale research for SMEs. Thai people should realize how important research and development is because we can never become a developed country if all that we do is to copy from other countries. We should have our own inventions with patents to share and sell to the world. This is what the government hopes to see.