NIA Hosts Thailand Global Innovation Forum 2022 to Accelerate Thailand’s Transition to a Nation of Innovation in the Digital Era

The French expert from the EDHEC Business School exchanges views on factors driving Thailand to embrace changes.

BANGKOK, Sept. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Innovation Agency or NIA, a public organization under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, hosted the Thailand Global Innovation Forum 2022 (TGIF 2022) under the concept of “Thailand towards the Top 30 Global Innovation Nations” to drive Thailand towards being a “Nation of Innovation” and to celebrate the 13th anniversary of the NIA becoming a public organization. It was honored by Dr René Rohrbeck, a professor of Innovation and Change and the Director of the Center for Predicting the Future from the EDHEC Business School, a leading business school in France, who gave a speech entitled “Global Foresight: the Future of an Innovation Nation.” There was also a forum to exchange views on the issue of the “Global Innovation Index (GII): Thailand’s Innovation on a Global Stage” from representatives of leading national organizations.

Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, NIA Director in TGIF 2022

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Soranit Siltham, Chairman of National Innovation Agency NIA, said that September 2, 2022 marked the 13th anniversary of the establishment of NIA as a public organization, said previously, NIA was positioned as System Integrator that strengthened the country’s innovation system and connected all stakeholders under the Thai innovation system and was the key driver of scientific system research and innovation for the country.

In the beginning, NIA focused on funding SMEs to build innovative businesses. Subsequently it focused on building an ecosystem for innovation by all sectors, especially the Start-up Ecosystem, and when Thailand has a new social player that plays a role in innovation, the NIA provides support for the creation of social innovation businesses in all regions of the country including the development of innovation potential on the basis of deep technology (Deep Tech). This is to increase capabilities for the economy, for society and for the national environment to prepare for and to cope with change in the future, especially to drive the three major economic systems of the country. These changes are:

The foundation economy that strengthens communities and areas; For the economy to be sustainable and to support the efficient use of resources and for the preservation of the environment and; For a creative economy that is knowledge-based and originates from intellectual property and research studies that are connected to the basic culture, history and the accumulation of the knowledge by Thai society.

Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, NIA Director, revealed that the NIA had transformed its role from being a System Integrator to become a “Focal Facilitator” for innovation under four strategies, making the Thai innovation system open for an increasing number of businesses that have innovation capabilities at critical mass levels that make changes for the country by developing co-operation, both at the national and international levels, and create opportunities for universal access to resources and support.

The second strategy is to transform the financial system of Thailand’s innovation by connecting the sources of innovation funding in order to create a financial system that facilitates innovation development and makes it accessible, enabling innovative businesses to generate growth and to have an impact on society.

The third strategy is to build an information system to drive innovation by promoting the use of innovation data to support evidence-based strategic decision-making by policymakers and entrepreneurs in the creation and development of innovation.

The fourth strategy is to become a high-performance organization that is ready for change and which creates sustainable growth by transforming to a digital organization, embracing management standards and human resource development.

“Hence, by driving the country to enhance its innovation capabilities towards becoming a “Nation of Innovation” that is ready to grow and which can create innovations that can drive the economy, society and the environment there is a need to focus on six key issues. These are: 1) The Government needs to be a “sandbox” and an accelerator of innovation; 2) Innovation investment needs to be stimulated and connected to the utilization of research; 3) Activities of financial market innovations and financial markets need to be stimulated and a database needs to be built; 4) The number of innovation-based enterprises for business structure revolution needs to be increased; 5) The registration and utilization of patents for adding value to products and services needs to be stimulated; and 6) the number of bases for creativity and culture needs to be increased,” Dr Pun-Arj added.

Dr René Rohrbeck, Professor of Strategy and Director of the chair on “Foresight, Innovation and Transformation at the EDHEC Business School in France, said there were four factors that had driven Thailand to change. These are: 1) Thailand 4.0, from product manufacturing to technology promotion, especially the four core technologies, being biotechnology, nanotechnology, advanced material technology and digital technology. The second factor was the expansion of international trade services with a change from depending on tourism alone to it becoming a professional service that indirectly trades through the value chain and which is expected to expand exponentially in the next 10 years. The third factor is the drive towards an innovation and knowledge-driven economy. An organization needs employees who have graduated in manufacturing, social sciences and IT along with quality career guidance services and policies are required that stimulate the demand for high-level skills in the labor market. While the fourth factor is sustainability and a green economy which comes with a smaller number of workers and which places more emphasis on quality work which will make “green products” more expensive.

“For organizations to cope with change, they need to be prepared using the “Future Fitness Model,” which is a model preparing for the future. It consists of perceiving, which explores the signs of change to prepare for the challenges that arise in order to reduce response time and to speed up decision-making and to experiment, and probing which entails solving problems with existing resources and having the ability to predict the future which is necessary in order to be prepared in order to be able to cope with the changes appropriately which should provide training and preparation for management-level employees, especially in order to create change at the industrial level and the ecosystem. Positive change must be “human” and driven through co-operation between leaders and a strong network of partners. Most important is the feeling of being an innovator because it is considered hard work and may not be rewarded immediately. Therefore, you should ensure that you will be happy and have fun with creative things,” Dr René concluded.