An MOU signing ceremony was held on 27 November 2021 to launch collaboration between NECTEC-NSTDA and eleven Rajabhat Universities located in northeastern Thailand. The partnership aims at promoting the implementation of five educational innovations developed by NECTEC to drive area-based development as part of the Bio-Circular-Green economy (BCG) national agenda.

The BCG model places emphasis on applying science, technology and innovation to turn Thailand’s comparative advantage in biological and cultural diversity into competitive advantage. The BCG strategy consists of four pillars, namely 1) promote sustainability of biological resources by balancing conservation and utilization; 2) strengthen communities and grassroots economy by employing resource capital, identity, creativity and advanced technology; 3) enhance sustainable competitiveness of Thai BCG industries; and 4) build resilience to global changes.

The collaboration launched under this MOU focuses on strengthening local communities and supporting grassroots economy with digital and educational innovations. It is based on strengths of each party. NECTEC has expertise in creating digital innovations, whereas Rajabhat Universities is known for their close-knit networks with local communities. Five educational innovations to support the area-based development are KidBright, ThaiJo, MOOC, Navanurak and Museum Pool.

An embedded board KidBright was developed by NECTEC-NSTDA as a tool for kids to easily learn about and practice coding through coded sets of command which connect with various types of sensors, enabling Internet of Things (IoTs). Thai Journals Online or ThaiJo is a platform for e-journal management in Thailand. Massive Open Online Courses Platform is a lifelong learning space providing open-access courses to general students and people from any educational and occupational background. Navanurak is a digital platform for archiving data such as cultural heritage, biodiversity and natural resources. Museum Pool is an information management system for museum content and supply the content to tourists in the form of user-friendly mobile application, supporting local tourism and grassroots economy.

Eleven Rajabhat Universities joining this initiative are 1) Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University, 2) Chaiyaphum Rajabhat University, 3) Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University, 4) Ubon Ratchathani Rajabhat University, 5) Buriram Rajabhat University, 6) Udon Thani Rajabhat University, 7) Rajabhat Maha Sarakham University, 8) Loei Rajabhat University, 9) Roi Et Rajabhat University, 10) Surindra Rajabhat University and 11) Sisaket Rajabhat University.