The National Innovation Agency (NIA), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, is moving Thailand towards an innovation nation through the “Thai-French Innovation Year”, the event that promotes cooperation of the two countries in foster science, technology, entrepreneurship, and economy of Thailand and France. The vital goals of the strategic plans include an
The National Innovation Agency (NIA), under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, is moving Thailand towards an innovation nation through the “Thai-French Innovation Year”, the event that promotes cooperation of the two countries in foster science, technology, entrepreneurship, and economy of Thailand and France.
The vital goals of the strategic plans include an opportunity for France to view the progress of the Thai innovation ecosystem, drawing knowledge or other assistance to Thailand. Meanwhile, there will be activities throughout the year including five-year term of financial and investment support for Thai and French startups in deep technology businesses, an event of Franco-Thai Innovation and Startup Weeks in Paris to bring together high-ranking representatives from government, private companies, investors, and Thai entrepreneurs who are interested in expanding markets in France. The goal is to discuss with various French agencies in aerospace, agriculture, food, and advanced technology. Additionally, NIA is implementing the Deep Tech Incubation Program@EEC to accommodate foreign advanced technology investments.
Dr Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director, National Innovation Agency of Thailand, said the French Republic and Thailand have designated 2023 the “Year of Thai-French Innovation”, focusing on science-driven collaboration. This modern mechanism aims to enhance the economy and society and support entrepreneurs and talents of both countries to grow through the integrated works. The initiative also aims to introduce innovation harmony. NIA is the main agency connecting the innovation relationship between the two countries through a conceptual framework known as “Innovation Diplomacy”. Based on strategic collaboration with potential innovation agencies in abroad, the Innovation Diplomacy will enhance the internationalization of Thailand’s innovation system and the image of Thailand to become “Country of Innovation” by focusing on three aspects: Government-to-Government (G2G), creating international networks among government agencies and international organizations. Government-to-Investor (G2I) connecting with investors who are interested in innovative business with the Thai private sector and Government-to-Startup (G2S) which enhances the international competitiveness of the startups.
“The Thai-French Year of Innovation is an essential strategic plan as Thailand has an opportunity to learn from leading countries, meanwhile it enables France to view the progress of the Thai innovation ecosystem, such as strategic areas conducive to investment and innovation startups that can leverage to a joint venture and market expansion in abroad. Policies that are conducive to French and international business innovation include aerospace innovation, food and agriculture innovation, and creative arts innovation. These policies are aligned with last year’s Thai-French relationship plan, in which both countries signed the agreement to have development in five areas: politics and security, economy, people, and global issues. Both nations aim to upgrade their relationship status to a strategic partnership by 2024.”
Dr Pun-Arj added that in order to support proactive innovation activities in 2023, NIA and Bpifrance signed a Letter of Intent to promote and support finance and investment for startups and entrepreneurs of Thailand and France. This partnership will focus on the development of deep technology businesses over a 5-year period (2022-2027), covering three issues: financial information exchange and investment in innovative business development through joint investment collaborative projects, promoting collaboration in development of advanced technology or deep tech, and supporting potential innovation groups to create high value for Thailand. Moreover, it plans and initiates project proposals for organizing the Year of Innovation 2023, with activities such as the Franco-Thai Innovation and Startup Weeks in Paris between April 24-28, 2023. The event will invite leaders, high-ranking government officials, private sector representatives, investors, and Thai entrepreneurs who are interested in expanding their markets in France. The event will also serve for negotiation with French agencies about expanding collaboration with partner networks and business matching (B2B matching) in aerospace, food industry, and advanced technology.
The Startup x Innovation Thailand Expo 2023 (SITE 2023) will be held during June 22 to 24, 2023, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. The expo invites experts and entrepreneurs from France to share their business experiences and engage in discussions with Thai investors. The goal is to extend bilateral collaboration to strengthen startup businesses between the two countries. In addition, On January 26, 2023, the opening ceremony of the Thai-French Year of Innovation was held at Benjakitti Park in Bangkok, to showcase France and Thailand’s strong intention to drive innovations in their respective countries. The event highlights such as a screening of the film “16 Sunrises,” a concert by half-Thai-French artists, a special drone show under the concept of friendship between Thailand, France, and space, and an opportunity to experience the virtual world through the movie “Being an Astronaut. NIA also designed two mascots with symbols from both countries: the elephant and the chicken. The mascots are named “Nong Kapi,” a Thai elephant that has been connected to the Thai way of life for a long time. Elephants were defenders of Thai national independence during wartime and were also used for transportation, making them a symbol of goodwill between countries. The second mascot is “Nong Pierre,” a rooster that has been a symbol and a bond of French people since before the Christian era, appearing in both art and faith. These symbols will be used in innovative events throughout the year.
“France is also interested in investment and high-technology development in the EEC which is in accordance with NIA’s operations under the NIA Deep Tech Incubation Program@EEC. This project aims to build opportunities for startups to develop and increase their capabilities to bring their products and services to the market. It will also help startups to gain better understanding of the in-depth requirements from industry experts and work with leading partners, with a focus on deep tech in ARI-Tech, mainly in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and immersive IoT. These three technologies can serve the 12 target S-Curve, and the investment trend of France and other leading countries in the future.” said Dr Pun-Arj.