o The RBD concept was initiated by the Dhamrong Lattapipat Foundation in 1990. This initiative has led to an establishment of the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada (ATPAC) in 1991, and followed by the Association of Thai Professionals in Europe (ATPER) and the Association of Thai Professionals in Japan (ATPIJ).
o RBD Office was set up in 1997 at NSTDA working closely with the 3 associations, Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC).
o At the beginning, the main mission of RBD was to promote permanent return of overseas Thai professionals (in S&T fields).
o Due to a budget cut in 1997 caused by an economic crisis, RBD’s objective shifted from permanent return to temporary return for S&T projects and technology transfers.
o In 2007, RBD revised its mission and strategy to become a coordinator & matchmaker to promote S&T cooperation under a “Brain Circulation” format.
To promote brain circulation of Thai professionals overseas and their networks through joint R&D projects, technology transfer and other activities in S&T of relevant national importance.
Activities and Achievements
o Prototypes, Products & Patents
Since 1997, RBD has completed 35 collaborative projects. 30 projects were funded by NSTDA (USD$ 2.7 million) and 5 projects by the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (USD$ 0.8 million). These projects resulted in 9 patents and 10 petite patents applications.
Some outstanding projects are
o Development of a Novel Semi-Solid Metal Processing in Die Casting
o Thermal Insulating Materials for Building Applications from Industrial By-products (Gypsum & ash)
o Development of rice husk ash-based geopolymer
o Hydrogen Storage Materials and Hydrogen Storage Prototype
o Cement Replacement from Lignite Fly Ash
o Submersible Vehicle
o Anti-tumor Activity from Centella Asiatica/Cymbopogon citratus
o Permanent return & Short term visit
o There are 8 permanent returns (with position in government, national centers and universities) since the inception of RBD.
o More than 100 short term visits from overseas Thai professionals (during 1997 - 2007). After the funding policy change, there are 23 short term visits and zero permanent returns.
o Biannual Thai Professionals Conferences (TPC) in Thailand
The TPC conference is a forum where Thai professionals overseas have an opportunity to meet with Thai professions in academics, government and private sectors in Thailand. The theme of each conference is selected based on relevance of the local needs and expertise can be matched with those overseas. It is one key activity in our brain circulation (current form of RBD) of knowledge and expertise of Thai professionals overseas and their network of friends. The follow on cooperation can be in a form of research collaboration, technology transfer, or consultation, whichever is most appropriate.
The 3rd Thai Professionals Conference (2012): Disaster Risk Management: Lessons Learned from USA, Japan and Europe was organized during 4-5 July 2012 at the Miracle Grand Convention Hotel by RBD, NSTDA, together with MOST and OHEC.
The 2nd Thai Professionals Conference (2010): Green Thailand was organized during 5-6 July 2010 at Miracle Grand Convention Hotel. by RBD, NSTDA, together with MOST, OHEC and The Thailand Research Fund (TRF)
The co-operation Initiative for solving the environment crisis in industrial area of Map Ta Phut
The Map Ta Phut MOU is an initiative and cooperative project under RBD. The project aims to use skill of Thai professionals as well as their networks to tackle the current environmental problem in Thailand.
RBD encouraged various parties as well as foreign funding agency to join the project, especially to use S&T as means to tackle environmental problems while balancing continuous economic growth and environmental sustainability.
The 1st Thai Professionals Conference (2008): S & T for National Development was organized during 2-4 June 2008 at Miracle Grand Convention Hotel. by RBD, NSTDA, together with MOST OHEC and TRF.