Government sets up science and tech talent center for investors

Several government agencies have joined hands to found a Strategic Talent Center that will create a comprehensive database of Thai experts in the sciences and technology and help local and foreign investors access the human capital they need for advanced industries.

“The Strategic Talent Center is one step that we are taking to provide investors with better and more comprehensive services,’’ said Hirunya Suchinai, secretary-general of the Board of Investment (BoI), one of the agencies partnering in the project. The others are the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Research Council of Thailand, the National Science and Technology Development Agency, and the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office.

Officially launched on July 3, the center’s database will contain the names and details of both Thai and foreign experts and specialists available in the Kingdom to support private industries in their research and development activities. It will also include academia, government scholars, and researchers as well as those under the Talent Mobility Project of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Office.

The center is another building block of Thailand 4.0, the 20-year national policy to transform Thailand into a regional technology hub with an economy propelled by innovation, research and development, and advanced and green technologies.

“The improved mobilization of science and technology manpower will certainly contribute to the implementation of the Thailand 4.0 policy. We are glad that our center will play a significant role in this jigsaw puzzle and help investors optimize their opportunities here,” Hirunya said.

Thailand has an abundance of strengths it can rely on to implement Thailand 4.0, but some critics have cited human resources as a potential weakness in achieving the strategy’s ambitious goals. A recent study by a foreign research organization said that the Kingdom could do more to leverage its talent.

The agencies supporting the Strategic Talent Center believe the Kingdom has more top-level human capital than many realize, and the center and its database is part of an attempt to address that issue. The center aims to serve as a matchmaker between the private sector and the science and research community.

“We believe that there are many experts and specialists in Thailand but we never had a comprehensive database or information about them. The center will take up this role and pull together extensive lists of these experts. This will not only match demand on manpower and supply of expertise, but will also promote links between the research sector and the private sector,” Hirunya said.