Agenda 2: Development of Technology Cluster and Future Industries
In order to transform Thailand’s comparative advantage into competitive advantage through knowledge, technology, and innovation, a long term goal to develop 10 Future Industries (First S-Curve and New S-Curve) has been set by the government.
The First S-Curves: building upon 5 old industries that already have solid foundation but still require further innovative improvement and research and development to add value and keep up with competition in the global field (Next generation Automotive, Smart Electronics, Affluent, Medical and Wellness Tourism, Agricultural and Biotechnology, Food for the Future)
The New S-Curves: developing the 5 new industries to enhance their capabilities to support future competitiveness (Robotics, Aviation and Logistics, Biofuels & Biochemical, Digital, Medical Hub)
- ⇒In order to attract high-valued investments in the 10 future industries, the government has amended the Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 and endorsed the draft National Competitiveness Enhancement for Targeted Industries Act to give more benefits from investors, such as corporate tax exemption up to 13 years for business using advanced technology and innovation, or conducting R&D activities; import duty exemption for machine and raw materials; etc.
- ⇒Thailand 4.0 is an engine to propel new economic growth through transformation of “comparative advantage” into “competitive advantage”. This approach will fulfill the country with knowledge, creativity, innovation, science, technology, research and innovation, and build upon comparative advantage with “5 Groups of Technology and Targeted Industries” which comprises of:
(1) Food, Agriculture and Bio-Tech: building a stable economy base on biodiversity and environmentally friendly biotechnology and moving Thailand toward becoming the center of premium agricultural products and food, and an exporter of technology in agriculture, seeds, vaccine.
(2) Health, Wellness and Biomedical: building medical infrastructure and move Thailand forward to be “Medical Hub” of ASEAN within 2025.
(3) Smart Devices and Robotics – Mechatronics: moving Thailand forward to advance as a leader in automatic system, industrial robotics, and service robotics in ASEAN.
(4) Digital, Internet of Things (loT), Artificial Intelligence and Embedded Technology: using digital tools and loT as platforms to enhance productivity, quality and innovation in various economic activities within agriculture, industrial, service and education sectors.
(5) Creativity, Culture and High-Value Services: undertaking actions that synergize basic cultural assets, innovation and technology in order to increase commercial value and ultimately enable Thailand to move forward in becoming one of ASEAN’s “Creative hubs” within the next ten years.
- ⇒The “5 technology and targeted industries” will be transformed into “integrated research” in order to provide possible solutions to challenges that may arise at the national and global levels, as well as identify business opportunities for the private. At the initial stage, the government will pursue the following five agendas:
(1) Integrated research on Food and Agriculture (2) Integrated research on Energy
(3) Integrated research on Aging Societies (4) Integrated research on Smart Cities
(5) Integrated research on Creative Economy
Tools to propel the 5 technology clusters and targeted industries
- 1. Demand for knowledgeable and highly-skilled manpower in the industries: such as agricultural engineers, biomedical engineers, robotic technicians and fashion designers.
- 2. Reform of Thai research system: The following reforms will be undertaken to allow development in the 5 key technological and industrial groups to take place;
♦Change the research ecosystem: by restructuring the function of funding institutions in order to enable a clear direction in the function and duties of all funding agencies by focusing on improving country’s business and research related to area-based and community development, and restructuring research organizations to be independent from political influence.
♦University 4.0: universities will be transformed to embrace know-how and ideas of University 4.0 by adapting their administrative paradigm and the investment in human resources and giving more priority to serve the objectives of society. Universities will serve as bases for developing technology and innovation reform, and building cooperation with leading international universities in each specific research field.
♦Measures to propel national research: by creating a network alliance to propel basic and applied research to national and international level, putting a research fund for innovation development in place to continue transnational research, allowing tax exemptions on the import of materials for research.