On 28 March 2023, HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over an opening ceremony of the 18th NSTDA Annual Conference (NAC2023). Held under the “NSTDA: STI Powerhouse to Drive BCG Economy for Thailand’s Sustainable Development” theme, NAC2023 took place on 28-31 March 2023 at Thailand Science Park, Pathum Thani.
In his speech, NSTDA President Prof. Dr. Sukit Limpijumnong reported that NAC2023 was designed to fully address the Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model which was declared the national agenda. It marks the return of a fully on-site event since the pandemic emerged to give participants and visitors a complete experience of the power of science, technology and innovation. The 4-day event is packed with a variety of activities, including scientific seminars and exhibition, open house activity, business pitching and matching, and STEM activities for kids. NAC2023 aims to drive the BCG Action Plan 2021-2027, consisting of four drivers and four enablers. The four drivers are 1) agriculture and food; 2) wellness and medicine; 3) energy, materials and biochemicals; and 4) digital & electronics, area-based development, frontier science and manpower development. The four enablers are 1) facility & infrastructure, 2) capacity building, 3) global network and 4) regulatory framework. NAC2023 seminar and youth activities covers 53 interesting topics, whereas NAC2023 exhibition displays 72 innovations spreading across 6 exhibition zones.
At the conclusion of his speech, Dr. Sukit called up winners of the 25th Young Scientist Competition, the 14th Thailand Robot Design Camp, and the Robo Innovator Challenge 2022 to receive certificates of honor from Princess Sirindhorn.
Following the royal opening address, Princess Sirindhorn paid a visit to NAC2023 exhibition which consists of 6 display zones.
- Princess Sirindhorn Pavilion showcases several STI projects launched under Princess Sirindhorn’s initiatives. One of the projects involves the training of IT skills to prison inmates to improve their job prospect after released from prison. The project started in 2007. In 2019, the project incorporated training on transcription and typing skills and since 2020, NSTDA has hired prison inmates to create subtitles for VDO lessons on the online learning platform, providing disabled learners with access to educational materials. The National e-Science Infrastructure Consortium is another royal initiated project that develops a high-performance computing (HPC) facility to support advanced research in Thailand and the collaboration between Thailand and CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in high energy physics.
- NSTDA Core Business exhibition showcases NSTDA core competency to drive the national social and economic development. NSTDA Core Business currently focuses on four innovations: a smart city application Traffy Fondue, Digital Healthcare Platform, a one-stop-service center for functional ingredient FoodSERP for functional food and cosmeceutical industries, and Thailand i4.0 Platform to provide comprehensive digital transformation services to the manufacturing industry.
- BCG Model exhibition displays innovative solutions that support four BCG drivers such as iPlant Multipurpose Spray that brings freshness to cut flowers, Exosuits that provide mobility and reduce injury risks for the elderly, battery technology to enable green society transformation, and an AI chatbot Sontana.
- STI for Quality-of-life Improvement showcases projects that support Thai farming sector and an area-based development. BCG-NAGA Belt Road project was initiated to transform Thai agriculture into a high efficiency, high standard and high income system. The project is implemented by NSTDA in partnership with Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Kasetsart University, Chulalongkorn University, Udon Thani Rajabhat University, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC), Siam Kubota Corporation Company Limited, KasetInno Company Limited, and local administrative offices and organizations. The project was piloted in four provinces, including Chiang Rai, Lampang, Udon Thani and Nakhon Phanom, driving the glutinous rice farming communities to practice modern sustainable agriculture with value-creation concept.
- NSTDA Service System showcases NSTDA capability and infrastructure to strengthen Thai innovation ecosystem to enable leapfrog development.
- Technology for Commercialization showcases technologies created by Thai researchers that are available for transferring to industry such as SUN-ZOOM for Eco-Plankton Culture Plant and an automated feeding system for shrimp farming.
In addition to the exhibition, NAC2023 also has activities for entrepreneurs and industry to explore new business opportunities, such as an open house activity in which visitors have a chance to visit 27 laboratories at Thailand Science Park and R&D pitching which presents 16 exciting innovations.
For more information, please visit www.nstda.or.th/nac.