NSTDA research strategy comprises 5 Research Pillars, 6 areas of Frontier Research and 10 Technology Development Groups (TDGs). The strategy aims to strengthen science, technology and innovation (STI) in order to enhance the nation’s competitiveness, drive the economy and support Thailand 4.0 agenda.
Five research pillars consist of five disciplines that NSTDA research centers have mastered, namely Bioscience and Biotechnology, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Electronics and Information Technology, Material and Manufacturing Technology and Energy Technology.
In order to build the strong foundation for future development, six areas of frontier research are fostered and identified as Quantum Engineering, Exoskeleton, Nanorobotics, Terahertz, DNA Data Storage and Artificial Photosynthesis.
TDGs are set up in order to integrate and frame the direction of six research pillars, focusing on the translation of research to real-world application in order to realize tangible socio-economic impact. Ten TDGs are 1) Precision Agriculture, 2) Food & Feed, 3) Biochemicals, 4) Cosmeceuticals, 5) Biopharmaceuticals, 6) Precision Medicine, 7) Medical Devices & Implants, 8) Dual-use Defense, 9) Mobility & Logistics and 10) Energy.
Precision Agriculture. This TDG aims to improve quality and quantity of farm products and minimize the damage to the environment. For plant production, the focus is on breeding economically important crops and commodities which are rice, oil palm, sugar cane, herbs and vegetable seeds aiming for high productivity, climate resilience and premium qualities that meet consumers’ demand. The scope also includes research and infrastructure development in the following areas: germplasm database, smart greenhouse, plant health indicators, GIS (Geographic Information System) tool for agricultural management, the application of IoT solutions in agriculture, automation systems in animal farming and vaccine for farm animals such as swine and aquacultures.
Food and Feed. This TDG aims to employ research and innovation to enhance the competitiveness of Thai food industry and reduce the importation of functional ingredients. This involves the development of technologies, processes and products to add value to local materials such as functional carbohydrates, food for vulnerable population groups such as easily chewable food for the elderly, food safety evaluation, diagnosis of foodborne pathogens and contaminants, and smart packaging.
Biochemicals. To underpin biochemical industry, this TDG is designed to concentrate on natural product discovery, chemical synthesis and modification to improve bioactivity, development of compound library, discovery of specialty enzymes for food, feed, cosmeceutical and nutraceutical industries, and development of effective microorganisms for biorefinery, waste utilization and production of biochemical compounds.
Cosmeceutical. This TDG aims to enhance the capacity of cosmeceutical industry throughout the value chain. Advanced technologies will be developed and employed ranging from plant factory for herbal cultivation to green extraction processes.
Biopharmaceutical. This TDG focuses on the development, production and quality control of biopharmaceuticals, biosimilars and vaccines. In addition to supporting affordable healthcare and warranting health security, this mission will give a big boost to the local healthcare industry.
Precision Medicine. This TDG covers the scope of predictive analytics, genomic data bank management, bioinformatics, diseases diagnosis and personalized medicine.
Medical Devices and Implants. This TDG focuses on research and innovation in biomedical signal processing devices, rehabilitation technology, accessible and assistive technology in order to improve the quality of life, particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Dual-use Defense. This TDG involves technologies that can be used for civilian purposes as well as military applications. Examples are drone jammer, high discharge rate battery cells for vehicles, communication devices, explosives and narcotics trace detectors, diagnostics and surveillance of disease outbreaks.
Mobility and Logistics. This TDG concentrates on electric vehicle (EV) and railway technology to support logistics system. Work on EV covers topics such as design and assembly, electronic components, experimental site for EV and standardization of parts and components. Railway research focuses on light-weight-structure feeders, parts and components for light rail, as well as building up manpower and capacity for operation, inspection and maintenance to support the government’s high-speed railway project.
Energy. This TDG aims to address sustainable energy with research topics include energy storage, diesel hydrotreating process to improve diesel quality for higher blending ratio, as well as solar energy.