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Global Alliance News Year 2020

A ceremony was held on 21 September 2020 to hand over the research data of a project to grow a drug target protein in space from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to NSTDA research team. The ceremony was presided over by Prof. Yongyuth Yuthavong, former NSTDA President and former Minister of Science and Technology. In the ceremony, Mr. Ono Atsushi, Director of JAXA Bangkok Office presented the protein crystals and their light scattering data to Dr. Chairat Uthaipibull, Director of BIOTEC Medical Molecular Biotechnology Research Group, as witnessed by Dr. Pakorn Apaphant, Executive Director of Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA).

Cassava is among major economic crops of Thailand. The country is the world’s largest cassava product exporter, dominating 68% of the global market. BIOTEC-NSTDA has long been developing technologies, from upstream to downstream, to support cassava production and processing sector with a number of technologies and innovations already transferred to users and some are available in the market. Realizing that the Mekong region – consisting of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam - is in fact the main supplier of cassava to the world, with the combined market share as high as 90%, BIOTEC-NSTDA therefore initiated a project “Capacity Building on Circular Economy, Resource and Energy Efficiency for Productivity and Sustainability of Cassava Chain to High Value Products: Cassava Root, Native Starch, and Biogas in Mekong Countries” or CCC.

Inventors of NSTDA mobile applications designed to fight against COVID-19 in Thailand were invited to give an interview to the Center for Global Affairs and Science Engagement (GASE) - a joint initiative by Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology and National Taiwan University – for an article featuring on GASE website dedicated to COVID-19 research and innovation. To support the disease control management, NSTDA has released two mobile applications in Thailand. ‘Traffy Fondue’ is a LINE Chatbot that enables users to report and trace people from out-of-town and ‘DDC-Care’ is a system for tracking and monitoring the health of individuals at risk of COVID-19. Both applications have been used extensively by Thai authorities to curb the spreading of the deadly virus.

The first EU-ASEAN webinar dedicated to High-Performance Computing (HPC) COVID19-related modeling and diagnostic was held on 10 July 2020, as a collaborative initiative among the ASEAN HPC Task Force, the ASEAN Committee for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI), the ASEAN Secretariat Science & Technology Division, and the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI). The webinar aims to provide an exchange platform to ASEAN and EU HPC-related scientists, projects and research infrastructures, interested in the establishment of collaborations on COVID19 research.

H.E. Mr. Pirkka Tapiola, Ambassador of the European Union to Thailand, along with Ambassadors and trade attachés from a number of EU member countries, hosted a Roundtable Discussion to explore opportunities to cooperate with the Thai Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation in building a bio-circular-green economy (BCG) for Thailand on 31 January 2020.