The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) recently inked a deal with eight of the nation’s leading universities with a goal of improving the linkage between academic and manufacturing sectors in research and human capital development to foster and facilitate innovation to boost Thailand’s competitiveness.
The BOI and universities signed the memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s Research University Network (RUN), a higher education alliance launched in 2015. They cover knowledge and information sharing in the domains of research and development between RUN member universities and industrial operators. The hopes of this deal include the desire to stimulate collaboration in the private sector demand-driven R&D activities, co-operative education programs and high-skilled workforce recruitment—human capital.
What is the RUN Alliance?
The RUN alliance was set up by four institutions located in Bangkok, including Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, Thammasat University, Mahidol University, and another four located in major provincial cities such as Chiang Mai University, Khon Kaen University, Prince of Songkla University, and Naresuan University.
Overall R&D Expenditures up in Thailand
R&D expenditures are on the rise in Thailand and have doubled to 1% of GDP in the five years to 2017, according to the Office of the National Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy Council. It is expected that this figure will grow to 1.5% by 2021 as part of the Government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, which aims to drive economic growth through innovation.
Clinical Trials in Thailand
According to a survey of Clinicaltrials.gov, Thailand has helped lead 2,124 clinical trials since the website has been up and running. Presently, there are approximately 490 active clinical trials in Thailand. The Thailand BOI does emphasize Biotech drug development in its “Eligible Activities.”
The BOI Agreement
Under the agreement, the BOI will also facilitate the universities’ own talent recruitment needs and academic development by providing Smart Visas to foreign lecturers and researchers in the target areas, allowing qualified applicants and their families to work and stay for renewable periods of up to four years.