On 7 February 2023, NSTDA Executive Vice President Dr. Janekrishna Kanatharana welcomed the delegation of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development of the city of Moscow to the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) in Wangchan Valley, Rayong. The delegation was led by the department head Mr. Alexey Anatolievich Fursin. The department is responsible for applying innovation to promote SMEs, develop human resource capacity and strengthen infrastructure.

Joining Dr. Janekrishna to introduce EECi and exchange in the discussion on future collaboration was a representative of Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), a leading postgraduate-level university situated in Wangchan Valley.

The delegation was given a tour to two major research facilities at EECi, namely the Sustainable Manufacturing Center (SMC) and Smart Greenhouse. SMC is a component of EECi Automation, Robotics, and Intelligent Systems (ARIPOLIS). Its main mission is to support the Industry 4.0 transformation of Thai industry by leveraging the industry competitiveness. SMC provides a safe environment where manufacturers, system integrators, innovators, researchers and students come together to innovate. The ecosystem is supported by activities and facilities such as Technology Demonstration, Learning Station and testbed/sandbox. Smart Greenhouse is one of the key facilities under the EECi BIOPOLIS. The facility supports experimental studies of herbal plants such as Andrographis paniculata, Centella asiatica, turmeric, and black ginger to develop commercial-scale production of these high-value crops.

EECi is Thailand’s new innovation hub. It is designed to facilitate and catalyze translational research and technology localization in order to bridge the gap between research and commercialization. Its headquarters has a 40,000 sq. m. working space. Both SMC and Smart Greenhouse are now open for business, whereas additional facilities such as Phenomics Greenhouse, Plant Factory, Biorefinery Pilot Plant, and Alternative Battery Pilot Plant will be rolled out this year.

In addition to facilities set up by NSTDA, EECi also houses multiple infrastructures developed by partner organizations to support the growth of future industries, including 1) the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) Proving Ground by the Department of Science Service (DSS), 2) the 4th generation 3.0 GeV Synchrotron Light Source by Synchrotron Light Research Institute (Public Organization), and 3) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Proving Ground by PTT Public Company Limited. In combination, these advanced infrastructures form a collective engine to drive EECi to become a leading innovation hub of Southeast Asia and attract high-tech industry investment to Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) through cluster-based collaborations at national and international levels between large, medium, and small enterprises, research institutes, academia, and the social sector.