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News Year 2012

Diabetes is one of the top 5 chronic non-communicable diseases in Thailand and is directly related to the growing consumption of cheap, processed sugar among the population.  . About 3.5 million Thais have been diagnosed with diabetes, and this number is expected to grow close to ten million in the next ten years.  Diabetes claims millions of lives every year and is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and amputation.

NSTDA and CIRAD agreed to promote, enhance and strengthen their cooperation in the areas of Life Sciences and Environmental Sciences where research subjects of mutual interest are Environmental Management, Agriculture, Food Production and Processing, Animal Disease Control and Biotechnology.

How to make science fun is a loaded question.  The quest to entice students to learn and love science is even more elusive.  Somehow these questions have been successfully answered by the Children’s University at Bielefeld University in Teutolab.  This Children’s University was founded by Prof. Dr. Katharina Kohse-Hoinghaus in 1994

Bangkok (September 28, 2012): The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Chulalongkorn University, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) and Fujitsu Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to implement the VOCs Monitoring and Environmental Information Management System (VM-EIMS) at Map Ta Phut to promote sustainable industrialization in Thailand.

In the age of mechanization, Samart Kaset-Yon Co., Ltd. (SMKY), in Chai Nat Province of Thailand, is the first maker of Thai sugarcane harvesters to enter and compete successfully in the global sugarcane market.  SMKY offers made-to-order cane harvesters to clients whose specific challenges (e.g. land size, soil conditions) can be solved by a tailor made design.

H. E.  Paulo Cesar Meira de Vasconcellos, Ambassador of Brazil to Thailand, Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, President, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) and Mr. Samart Leethirananon, Director, Samart Kasetyont (SMKY) Part., Ltd. presented at the handover ceremony of the second Thai-made sugar cane harvester

Prof. Robyn A Owens, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Prof. Tony O’Donnell, Professor and Dean, Faculties of Science, and Mr. Shaun Wellbourne-Wood, Director, the International Science for our Future Festival and International Development Manager visited NSTDA on August 14, 2012, to introduce University of Western Australia  and

Dr. Jianlin Cao, Vice Minister of Science and Technology and delegates from the People's Republic of China visited NSTDA on July 31, 2012, to exchange information on science, technology and innovation policy and discuss possible future collaboration between NSTDA and Chinese research institutes.  Dr. Thaweesak Koanantakool, NSTDA President, welcomed the delegation.

In a special publication marking the Bangkok Post’s 66th anniversary, three NSTDA researchers were honored as “young leaders shaping Thailand’s future”.  Dr. Chai Wutiwiwatchai from NECTEC was recognised for his outstanding research on Thai text–to-speech technology for the disabled. Dr. Siwaruk Siwamogsatham, an expert in wireless

High quality biodiesel from jatropha (a nonfood source) by way of the partial hydrogenation technique is goal of the joint collaboration between Thailand and Japan.  Key collaborators in this project are MTEC/NSTDA & TISTR (Ministry of Science and Technology), KMUTNB of Thailand and AIST & Waseda University of Japan.  The highly efficient biodiesel production process is desired to warrant commercial use with long term sustainability.

Dr. Noppawan Tanpipat, Vice President of NSTDA, was panelist in diasporas discussions for a launch of the “Developing a road map for Engaging Diasporas in Development" handbook (http://gfmd.org/diaspora-handbook).  It was organized by IOM (International Organization for Migration) and MPI (Migration Policy Institute) on July 11, 2012 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand.

Solar energy is eco-friendly renewable energy that will help reduce fossil fuels dependence.  Several solar cell types and technologies are available in the market today.  Many claim their efficiency through performance benchmarks using global or European standards.  However, under the hot, humid, rainy and, at times, dusty climate of Thailand, it is essential that we choose the most appropriate solar cell type and technology for the most efficient electricity generation.

During the 2011 great flood disaster in Thailand, NSTDA was also affected .  However, a speedy recovery was observed.   In this event, a few S&T innovations related to flood management were developed by NSTDA.  A better disaster preparedness strategy for its campus was also proposed and planned.

High amplitude earthquakes in Asia are now frequently observed.  The ground shaking could lead to damages or collapse of engineering structures such as dams.  Dam breaking can result in large scale disasters at downstream communities.  In addition, electricity shortage will affect the industrial and economic sector severely.  Seismic detector is essential as monitoring tool of earthquakes  to mitigate unnecessary damages and losses. 

Research collaboration accelerates the product development process which can ultimately benefit the public.  An outstanding example of such collaboration is BIO-NET Asia, a vaccine-focused biotech company that has worked closely with NSTDA and with scientists in South Africa in pediatric vaccine development. Together they have successfully

Thailand’s printing industry and its advancements into the digital era have led to considerable success in exporting printed products, including photographic books, children’s publications, calendars, postcards, greeting cards, posters, pop-up books, and various types of catalogues.

BIOTEC-NSTDA, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) and BioNet-Asia Company Limited entered into an MOU to collaborate on quality control for vaccine development. The MOU signing ceremony was held on 29 March 2012 at KMUTT. Representing three parties were Mr. Vitoon Vonghangool, Managing Director of BioNet-Asia, Dr. Sakarindr Bhumiratana, KMUTT President, and Dr. Suvit Tia, BIOTEC Deputy Executive Director.

Since its inception in 2005, the BIOTEC-Novartis Partnership in Drug Discovery has proved to be a highly productive and successful collaboration.  Building on this, the two organizations have recently finalized the extension of the partnership for a further three years until 2014.  In this phase, the collaboration aims to investigate the potential of compounds produced by local microorganisms (natural products) as active ingredients for drugs.

Sigma Aldrich recently launched a new product, Ascochlorin, which has been derived from a fungus found in Thailand called Verticillium hemipterigenum.  Ascochlorin comes from a class of organic chemical compounds called isoprenoids and obtains its name from the fungus Ascochyta.  The product is a result of joint effort amongst various research groups in Thailand.