Editor’s note: This interview is part of a Q&A series with winners of the ORIGIN Innovation Awards 2020. True Digital Park is a winner in the category Community Builder Award.

Aiming to be an interconnected ecosystem for startups and tech entrepreneurs in the heart of Southeast Asia and to become the most complete and open startup ecosystem that powers Thailand to become a global hub for digital innovation, True Digital Park is a campus spanning the size of 28 soccer fields, built on the concept of open innovation.

True Digital Park’s mission is to provide Thailand’s first, and Southeast Asia’s largest, startup and tech entrepreneur’s campus, spanning over 200,000 sqm. The park is a critical driver for the development of the startup and innovation ecosystem in Thailand. All under one roof, startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors, accelerators, incubators, academies, and government agencies co-exist in our interconnected ecosystem.

The campus is situated in the east of Bangkok, right off Punnawithi BTS Station, and located in the emerging Bangkok CyberTech District (Innovation District). The park provides expansion opportunities across digital domains and geographical spaces.

Below are highlights of TechNode Global‘s Q&A with Dr. Tairt Nimmanwudipong, General Manager of True Digital Park.

What are the trends that will shape innovation in Southeast Asia?

Adoption of emerging technologies and adaption to new normal. Digital transformation is still in progress. Some countries have progressed further than the others.

Big corporations have tried to tap into the startup ecosystem to learn more about new products/services as well as seeking for investment opportunities.

True Digital Park is being shaped as a platform that corporates, SMEs, government entities, and startups can exchange/pitch ideas so that innovations can be adopted on campus or will be adopted based on the seed of idea being planted under our roof. Of course, companies under our organization also are also heavily involved.

What are the three key challenges in the region, from the perspective of community or ecosystem builders?

  • Uneven distribution and shortage of digital talents
  • Lack of internal mindset, limiting growth potential and convincing vision
  • Inefficient collaboration between industry/startup/education institutes

What are your strategies for overcoming or addressing these challenges?

TDPK is trying to shape a reskill/upskill program called True Digital Park House of Digital Academy to expand digital talent pools in Thailand. The program is a center of world-class tech and digital knowledge in Thailand where everyone can access reskill/upskill courses from our partners. The courses range from AI learning, cloud computing, content creator, digital marketing, service design, data fundamental, product management, blockchain, and so on. Courses are updated monthly and include free-of-charge and paid syllabuses.

TDPK is arranging VC Clinic, TDPK One Stop Service for Startups services include consultations on government support, Intellectual Property (IP), BOI registration, Smart Visa, resources & tech talent, funding support, cloud service, connection to ecosystem partners, accounting, tax & law, and regular business matching sessions for entrepreneurs/startups.

What are the characteristics or parameters you consider when deciding on technologies or companies to support?

We are quite open and stay neutral to all kinds of new technology. We believe that all sectors are now being transformed at different rates. When there is a chance, we push and work with relevant stakeholders in and outside of the country.

How relevant are decentralized technologies in terms of long-term impact?

Of course very interesting and promising for the long term. Solid use cases have started to emerge with the clear first sign of high growth in adoption. Yet, regulators are looking into these closely. This does not prevent innovators from inventing but we have to admit that mass adoption will vary depending much on what will be allowed, when, and whatnot.

What role does sustainability play in your decision-making process when supporting a company?

Our (True Corporation) Group is among the world leaders on DJSI. Our company has focused much on SDGs. Wherever possible, we have tried to incorporate initiatives and programs that would address each of SDG. We are also working with GCNT to run a seminar to raise awareness of sustainability in our ecosystem. Another example is that we recently ran SDG Game Fest.