Biotechnology in Thailand has been through over three decades of development. Today, with its superb infrastructure, substantial scientific capability and strategic location in the center of the Southeast Asia region, Thailand is home to many well-established world tech labs and pharma companies, and is ready to embrace new wave of advanced biotech development. Bio economy is also a new ambition of Thai government, one of ten targeted growth-engine industries under the new “Thailand 4.0” growth model, which focuses on the concept of inclusive, productive and green growth to enhance the country’s competitiveness and economic development.

Biotech companies in Thailand enjoy a variety of competitive advantages from supporting ecosystems including intellectual property protections and technically-equipped workforce as well as an abundance of natural resources and rich biological diversity.

Diverse natural resources, biology and thriving agricultural sector

The first key advantage of Thailand to be a research hub for biotechnology is its hot and humid climate, which supports tropical ecosystems that a large variety of plant, animal and microbe species survive. Thailand has approximately 15,000 species of plant which account for approximately 10% of estimated total number of plant species found globally. Moreover, abundant farmland across the country and a year-round growing season allow agricultural raw materials to be sourced from locally at low prices. Meanwhile, Thai agricultural sector, the mainstay of the country’s socioeconomic foundation, is currently transitioning to ‘Smart Farming’, a key reforming process endorsed by the government to increase the efficiency of agricultural production and enhance cooperation between farmers and the public and private sectors.

R & D infrastructure readiness

Thailand has developed network of organizations that support research and development in biotech. Currently, 24 universities across the country have the combined capacity to supply approximately 7,000 students with a biotechnology background each year. In addition, wellestablished research infrastructure including various pilot plants located in several leading universities across the country, allowing biotech companies to scale up their research before commercializing their innovations. Many of these pilot plants operate as private and public sector partnership, such as Agricultural Research Development Agency (ARDA) under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Public and private organizational support

Government and organizational support is provided through the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) provides government support by acting as a bridge between the requirements of academic research and innovation in the industry, through the operation of four national research centers i.e., BIOTEC, MTEC, NANOTEC, and NECTEC, and one technology management center (TMC). Thailand Science Park (TSP), the first technology and innovation hub of Thailand, serves as a one-stop service center to assist both foreign and local companies engaged in scientific and technological research. TSP is a key hub for research and development where specialists and researchers from industry, academia and NSTDA collaborate to further inspire and stimulate the formation and growth of knowledge-based businesses. A network of 1,600 full-time researchers and technicians, of which around 400 hold doctorate degrees, can be found at TSP. TMC also provides important support in biotechnology through its Technology Licensing Office (TLO), which is responsible for the licensing of intellectual property.

The recent setting up of the Strategic Talent Center (STC) helps enhance the country’s ecosystem for stronger research and development capability. The center serves as a platform interacting with the private sector in identifying available specialists or researchers in science and technology to support the private sector in conducting R&D and innovation activities. The STC will be actively involved with matching their skills and expertise with real demands from the requesting companies.

Enticing investment incentives

The Board of Investment (BOI) recognizes the importance and value of the bio economy industry, and offers a wide range of tax and non-tax incentives for projects that meet national development objectives. Tax incentives for biotechnology companies investing in Thailand include an 8-year exemption of corporate income tax and exemption of import duties on machinery and raw materials used for manufacturing of export products. Non-tax incentives are visa and work permit for experts, permission to own land for promoted activities and etc.

Source: The Board of Investment, Thailand

Illustration Photo: ASEAN-U.S. Science & Technology Fellow specialized in biotechnology (credits: Montakan Tanchaisawat, USAID / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0))

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

EU's Call for Proposals: An empowering, inclusive Next Generation Internet

The objective is to support actions on smarter, open, trusted and personalised learning solutions to optimise digital learning and to allow learners to engage and interact with content and with peers.
Application Deadline in 5 months

Singapore to establish Additive Manufacturing Facility and Applications in Maritime Sector

The facility’s location also leverages PSA’s parts supplier base and facility operations to support just-in-time inventory. This move towards digitised inventories reduces the need to hold excess inventory, which lowers storage costs, while shortening turnaround time from weeks to days due to improved availability of spare parts. In the long run, PSA will expand the scope of these services to the wider maritime industry, including ship owners, to help build its business adjacencies.

EU's Call for Proposals: The AQUAEXCEL2020 twelfth call for access

The facilities available cover the entire range of production systems (cage, pond, recirculation, flowthrough, hatchery and disease challenge); environments (freshwater, marine, cold, temperate and warm water); scales (small, medium and industrial scale); fish species (salmonids, cold and warm water marine fish, freshwater fish and artemia); and fields of expertise (nutrition, physiology, health & welfare, genetics, engineering, monitoring & management technologies).
Application Deadline in a month

Environment and Big Data: Role in Smart Cities of India

This study identifies six environmental factors, which should be integrated in the development of smart cities. These environmental factors include indicators of landscape and geography, climate, atmospheric pollution, water resources, energy resources, and urban green space as a major component of the environment.

Corteva Agriscience and IRRI Ink Partnership to Develop Advanced Rice Technologies and Programs

The partnership seeks to improve the genetic outcomes of breeding programs, encourage sustainable rice cultivation, and develop new rice varieties which deliver higher yields and are more resilient against biotic and abiotic stresses.

Call for Applications: Communication projects which mitigate anthropogenic climate change

The Minor Foundation for Major Challenges (MFMC) is inviting applications from all over the world to fund communication projects which mitigate anthropogenic climate change.
Application Deadline in a month

EU's Call for Proposals: Digital technologies for improved performance in cognitive production plants

Proposals need to develop new technologies to realise cognitive production plants, with improved efficiency and sustainability, by use of smart and networked sensor technologies, intelligent handling and online evaluation of various forms of data streams as well as new methods for self-organizing processes and process chains.
Application Deadline in 4 months

Study reveals best use of wildflowers to benefit crops on farms

For the first time, a Cornell University study of strawberry crops on New York farms tested this theory and found that wildflower strips on farms added pollinators when the farm lay within a "Goldilocks zone," where 25 to 55 percent of the surrounding area contained natural lands.

EU's Call for Proposals: Reinforcing the EU agricultural knowledge base

Activities shall analyse and compare the approaches taken on their performance and impact for farmers/foresters as well as effectivity of the communication and information channels used for dissemination in countries and regions.
Application Deadline in 3 months

The Bali Fintech Agenda: A Blueprint for Successfully Harnessing Fintech’s Opportunities

In response to the Bali Fintech Agenda, the World Bank will focus on using fintech to deepen financial markets, enhance responsible access to financial services, and improve cross-border payments and remittance transfer systems.