The Development of Science and Technology Personnel

Keeping up with advanced knowledge and technology brings about advantages in business competition and is an important instrument in bringing an organisation to a leading position in today’s global competition. However, no matter how advanced the technologies are, if the personnel who use them fail to keep up with them, their

organisation may not gain the business competitiveness that they were hoping for.

NSTDA realises the importance of the development of personnel in the fields of industry, research and academia, as well as community members, in order for them to earn the required knowledge, skills and expertise to keep up with new technologies; skill development will increase Thailand’s ability in industrial and agricultural production, which in turn will lead to economic growth.

In 2009, NSTDA promoted and supported productive personnel development through 162 training programmes in biotechnology, materials technology, and computer & electronics technology to 8,217 industrial and government personnel.

NSTDA’s training services focus on providing both technical and practical knowledge by holding group training for interested entrepreneurs and others. All trainees learn a lot from local and foreign specialists and get the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences. Not only is it beneficial in the development of government and industrial production, it also helps to form research and development alliances. NSTDA’s training programmes in 2009 included:

  • Biological training programmes such as: advanced biotechnology of seaweed – a commercial agricultural product which ranks as the world’s third highest in export value, as well as training on business administration and biotechnology laws
  • Training on alternative energy and the environment, such as the development of hybrid solar cell prototypes, and wind energy technology for agricultural water management
  • Training on information technology such as CIO (chief information officer) positions, training on operations systems, computer networking, and information security systems
  • Training on design and material selection such as a technical training on “Carbon Footprinting” and “Creative Economy for Designing Products in Industry”

Additionally, NSTDA provided e-Learning services for trainees’ convenience. The numerous online training courses include:

  • Knowledge on Eco-Designing, basic and applied knowledge on selecting environmental-friendly materials
  • Biological and GMO safety, and Food safety
  • Training on scientific and technological international research writing for academic personnel

The Development of Basic Structures of Science and Technology
In order for a country to advance scientifically and technologically, it has to have a strong scientific foundation. NSTDA as the leading agency to promote scientific and technological development therefore develops the basic structures of Science and Technology for learning in Thailand which include:

Thailand Science Park (TSP)--Thailand’s first research community which acts as a research hub on an area of over 200 rai holding four national research centers under the management of the Technology Management Center (TMC). This is to facilitate research centers (available for rent), technology advice services, testing and analytical services, a knowledge-base on research and development services which will create cooperation with private research bodies, and low interest loans. Additionally, private agencies that rent space in the research center will gain the same benefit as BOI Zone 3 from the Board of Investment of Thailand. Also they will be exempted from 200% research and development tax from the Revenue Department.

Thailand Science Park has a commitment to support SME operators in order for them to create their own innovations starting from the inception of their business, and to help create more opportunities for them to develop valuable products and expand their market base.

Thai operators won 3 gold medals in the International Invention, Innovation and Technology Exhibition (ITEX 09) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as follows:

Mild Innovation Co., Ltd’s Intelligent Wifi-Box earned a gold medal in communication. The coin Internet access innovation charges users according to their actual usage time. The flexibility is that the remaining credits can be saved up for further use, which allows clients to access the internet more conveniently.

Chem Creation Co., Ltd.’s Laminated Paper Recovery Enzyme won a gold medal in Environment and Energy. The new enzyme helps to digest laminated paper such as that of juice boxes, industrial bags, cigarette cartons, or used stickers. The intention is to separate paper and plastic or paper and aluminum for recycling them into different grades of plastics for automobile and airplane parts.

Innov (Thailand) Co., Ltd.’s Innov Gel Test won a gold medal in biotechnology. The blood-type testing gel is accurate as well as fast. It can perform blood-type tests from 96 samples at once. Compared to an imported testing kit, it reduces time, the number of procedures involved, and cost.

As the site is prepared for complete research and development services, a large area of space was rented by a number of leading foreign agencies:

  • Polyplastics Marketing (T) Co., Ltd., Asia’s leading plastic engineering company, has established the ASEAN Technical Solution Center: ASEAN TSC allows automobile technology and electronics operators in Thailand to share and learn knowledge about plastics engineering technology, which will increase Thailand’s competitiveness in the area.
  • Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., a leading industrial gas business company, especially in the frozen foods industry and food and beverage production in the United States, has established the Asia Food Technology Center to support the growth of Asia’s food processing industry and to be a freezing technology research and development center. The goal is to support clients as quickly as possible by cooperating with concerned agencies such as the Biotech Center for Rapid Research and New Product Development.

Apart from the science park as the center of Thai operators’ development, Thailand’s Software Industrial Area or Software Park is another facet of NSTDA’s aim to build a stable foundation for Thai software development. This is achieved by supporting software business operators in modifying their software development methods to meet the CMMI (Capability Maturity Model Integration) standard, which is a standard of the development of software quality, in order to be accepted internationally. Currently, 30 Thai software companies have passed CMMI standard assessment, 20 of which are being supported by Thailand’s Software Industrial Area.

The political and economic crisis in early 2009 affected a number of small and medium-sized hotels in Thailand. To help expand their markets, Thailand’s Software Industrial Area has developed the potential of 1-3 star hotel business operators, promoted their computer use, and helped to create 300 hotel websites. Business operators have learned to practically build and manage their own websites and market online to attract more clients.

Other than offering complete services for technological businesses, NSTDA have coordinated with the Office of Higher Education Commission and the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (OSMEP) as Thailand’s leading agencies in supporting business incubation, to set up the Thai Business Incubators and Science Parks Association (Thai-BISPA).

As a hub for local and international coordination, the association will help all private agencies in the following ways:

  1. By providing information to the public on business incubators in Thailand.
  2. By being a center of skills development for personnel involved in business incubation and science parks.

Not only will Thailand Science Park and Thailand’s Software Industrial Area be the center of the operators’ potential development, but they will be the core of the scientific and technological development that NSTDA has pioneered for Thailand’s national development.