The manufacturing and service industries of Thailand play in an important role in driving the country’s economy as can be seen by the fact that manufacturing and service industries accounted for 86% of the country’s annual GDP on average from 2005-2009. However, manufacturing industries still face various problems on all sides such as low production capacity, competition for market leadership, movement of manufacturing bases from Thailand to countries with lower wages, lack of essential up-stream industries, lack of ability to accommodate and upgrade to advanced production technology and new products.
NSTDA is aware of the importance of R&D work to create technologies in the manufacturing and service industries in order to increase capability and create added value in these industries. It has set up R&D strategies for the manufacturing and service industries for the years 2011-2016, focusing on spearheaded manufacturing industries, namely the hard disk drive industry, the air-conditioning and refrigerator industry and the automotive and automotive parts industries.
The Hard Disk Drive Industry Research Program
The program aims to encourage Thailand to be a competitive R&D hub for hard disk drives in the region and to maintain existing manufacturing bases. Key operation plans include:
1. Supporting and promoting R&D work on technology that will increase production efficiency and technology for testing hard disk drives and their parts.
2. Supporting Thai SMEs in their designing and manufacturing efforts so that they can compete and meet the automation-related needs of local and international manufacturers.
3. Supporting R&D work on the production processes of hard disk drives of 5-10 Tbpsi, which is the new technology that will impact the hard disk drive industry worldwide.
The Air-conditioning and Refrigerator Industry Program
The program aims to encourage the air-conditioning industry to participate in R&D work for air-conditioning products, which will lead to add value for products and exports. Key operation plans include:
1. Doing R&D work on new product technologies, developing parts and manufacturing processes, focusing on developing inverter prototypes and fans, and DC motor parts.
2. Encouraging the development of standards related to the air-conditioning industry to accommodate industrial expansion brought on by new technology development.
3. Creating R&D personnel to support new technology.
The Automotive and Automotive Parts Industry Program
The program focuses on supporting the Thai automotive industry in its efforts to design key automotive parts, drives, electric car safety equipment and energy-saving and environment-friendly automotive parts. Key operation plans include:
1. Developing prototypes and designing technologies and manufacturing electric cars.
2. Developing industrial-level SUV prototypes, increasing manufacturing and designing capabilities to higher standards for local use and overseas export in the future.
3. Developing industrial-level prototypes or technologies related to mechanical and electronic automotive parts.