Bridging Science, Technology and Innovation through Collaboration The realization of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Act 2008 serves as the foundation for Thailand’s science, technology and innovation (STI) policy for the 21st century.
The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy and Plan 2012-2021
The goal is to unify STI commitments among public agencies and to strengthen the collaboration with and among the private sector, academics, and research institutes. The coverage is designed to network knowledge from grassroots community level up to international cooperation. To implement the challenges, the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office, an autonomous public agency chaired by the Prime Minister, was established. In April 2012, the Cabinet approved a ten-year National STI Master Plan (2012-2021) which provides mechanisms to enrich Thailand’s innovation system at all levels—from national to regional and local.
At the foundation, the Master Plan states that knowledgeable and skilled human capital along with sufficient scientific and technological infrastructure and enabling factors are vital to the creation of a thriving innovation system. Therefore, strategies and measures are mapped out to develop these vital factors, resulting in human capital development programs —such as science education improvement through enquiry-based learning, vocational skill improvement through work-integrated learning, and enhanced university-industry-research institute collaboration via cooperative education and improved academic/research personnel mobility—and infrastructure/enabling factor development programs—such as regional science parks, industrial technology assistance, tax incentives, and innovation financing. The strong foundation will support the application of STI for development in three strategic areas—namely, (1) society and local communities, (2) economy, and (3) energy and environment—with the ultimate goal of having a quality society and a sustainable economy driven by green innovation. Strength in science, technology and innovation will help the country cope with emergent issues and future challenges, such as, ageing society, social disparity, globalization, regionalism, climate change, water-food-energy security, and emerging diseases. The National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office is the agency responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National STI Master Plan. Collaborative networking is an essential part of the Office and is emphasized by the creation and promotion of active collaboration through strong linkages with local and international partners.