DigitalCFO Newsroom | 13 June 2022
NIA builds Thai-French innovation diplomacy to modify Thailand into a “country of innovation”, elevating Thai startups and entrepreneurs for global investment.
The National Innovation Agency (NIA) continues to revive the innovation-based economy in Thailand after the COVID-19 situation has improved through four key networks from the private and public sector, as well as international organizations, such as France’s Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance), a unique organization dedicated to supporting startups “La French Tech“, “Station F” incubator program, Starburst, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development or OECD, to elevate the capabilities of innovation in Thailand in various aspects, while also seeking possibilities for investment and market expansion for Thai startups and entrepreneurs, especially in deeptech, which is an up-and-coming trend in the world of innovation, to make our innovation businesses more competitive in the global market.
Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director of NIA, said that financial activities and investment in innovation can help drive and support Thailand to become a “country of innovation”. Therefore, NIA is seeking new opportunities and support from local and international partners to improve innovation growth in Thailand in every aspect. Recently, it has begun talks with France, one of the world leaders in terms of innovation, with outstanding research and development support from the government, fully digital social and economic transformation, and an environment that is conducive to startup and innovation business investment.
The NIA has signed a letter of intent with France’s Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance) to support and promote financial assistance and investment for startups and entrepreneurs in Thailand and France to grow deep tech businesses in the next five years on three key topics:
1) Exchanging financial and investment information in innovation business investment,
2) Developing investment partnerships, and
3) Promoting partnerships on deep tech which has a lot of potential to generate high value in Thailand.
On this visit to France, the NIA also met with “La French Tech”, a unique organization dedicated to supporting startups, to discuss an incubator or accelerator for deep tech startups, especially in agriculture and food, under the SPACE-F incubator program for tech startups in the food industry. The NIA has also discussed ways to develop and support aviation innovation together with Starburst, an aerospace company that drives the global aerospace innovation ecosystem through accelerator programs for startups in aviation, aerospace, and military.
The goal is to educate entrepreneurs and form an aviation and aerospace network to support other local businesses, in line with the NIA’s mission to improve the capabilities of startups and deep tech entrepreneurs in the aerospace industry on a global scale.
Dr. Pun-Arj added that the NIA has joined the recent meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to propose ideas and exchange views on the development of enterprise innovation ecosystem in Thailand in four key areas, namely;
1) The works of the National Startup Committee,
2) The support in the government’s procurement of local startup products,
3) The formation of a startup enterprise network in universities, and
4) The initiation of international collaboration on innovation and coordination with the OECD Development Center to form international networks and partnerships.
Additionally, the NIA will send its officers to be stationed at the OECD office for a year to improve its staff capabilities in terms of international organizations, as well as to support the Thai-French Year of Innovation 2023 by the two countries’ embassies in order to highlight “innovation” as the key topic in their bilateral relations.