25 May 2015
The Government is attaching great importance to fostering innovation and has introduced measures to promote research and development in order to attain the goal of stability, prosperity, and sustainability.
In his televised national address on 22 May 2015 in the program "Return Happiness to the People,” Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said that the listing of Thai innovations and the opening up of markets for innovative Thai products and services are among measures to promote innovation for development.
Government agencies are also allowed to buy products and services on the innovation list with at least 10 percent of their budget allocations each year, but not exceeding 30 percent. However, the products and services must be certified by relevant agencies to ensure their accepted standards. They also must be creative and applicable on a commercial basis.
The Industrial Technology Assistance Program has been carried out and extended in an effort to strengthen small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The project is intended to help SMEs solve their technical problems and meet the challenges in introducing technology-based products and processes.
The Prime Minister explained that a target had been set to develop 13,000 entrepreneurs. The public sector will provide five billion baht in financial assistance, which accounts for one-third of the total investment budget. The remaining amount will come from investments by the private sector. It is expected that the program will reduce production costs for SMEs and contribute to the country’s overall economy. The program is likely to generate employment, valued at 90 billion baht, within six years, as well.
The Prime Minister said that a fund has been set up in the form of a "fund of funds” to mobilize money for investment through a joint-venture fund, established by universities and research institutes. The funding source will support the country’s innovation on a commercial basis.
Meanwhile, Minister of Science and Technology Pichet Durongkaveroj said that the Committee on the Development of the National Innovation System, during its recent meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, stressed the importance of using science and innovation in enhancing Thailand’s competitiveness and upgrading people’s quality of life.
The meeting agreed to spread innovation to the regional areas of the country. The Ministry of Science and Technology has been assigned to hold a Thai innovation festival in 2015 in the North, the South, and the Northeast.
The Government Public Relations Department has been instructed to disseminate more news and information on innovation, so that Thailand’s innovative products and services would become better known. The meeting also agreed to use markets in the public sector to launch certain innovative products and services, which would make them more widely accepted.