Regional Growth Poles of Innovation
Area-Based Innovation focuses on efficient utilization of natural resources and geographical benefits to stimulate greater economic and social development of certain locations. Industrial power, infrastructure, workforce, and academic progress are considered key factors in making innovation development plans achievable. Basically, the economic and social development plan aims at the development of infrastructure and an increase in investments. However, it is quite obvious that fundamental development and academic progress still go their separate ways.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) has recognized the importance of fostering the “Development of Area-Based Innovation”. With the cooperation of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (Public Organization) (GISTDA), the Designated Area for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) (DASTA), the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT), and Rayong Provincial Governor’s Office, has launched the “Area-Based Economic Innovation to ASEAN” project, while signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the aforementioned organizations to support the acquisition and completion of statistical data, climatological information, details of potential raw materials used for production, and facts on potential investments generated by the public and industrial sectors. This helps encourage people to create productive ideas towards the progress of innovation, promote the co-creation of innovation through innovative concepts, and foster knowledge sharing among agencies, businesses, and local people in various communities.
The NIA’s implementation will initially focus on the government’s policy on the Special Economic Development Zones in accordance with the GMS Southern Economic Corridor (EWEC), with total distance of approximately 1,320 kilometers, as shown in the following figure. The GMS Southern Economic Corridor is developed to strategically connect Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam together, considered a crucial land transportation route that can highly facilitate the shipment of goods along the lengthy distance between the Andaman Sea and the Pacific Ocean, while unveiling mainstream cultures and core knowledge of innovation reflected in business operations and daily routines. The value chain analysis will pinpoint desirable strategies in driving area-based innovation to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), with the NIA’s ambitious goal to help Thailand achieve all innovation aspects, including industry, tourism, commerce, transportation, and agriculture.
The NIA has initiated Area-Based Innovation development that finally leads to the existence of “Innovation Corridor”, “Innovation City”, and “Innovation District”. The Area-Based Innovation development mainly emphasizes three development areas, consisting of effective development of infrastructure used to facilitate the innovation ecology system, integrated management of essential resources, and regular promotion of people’s participation. The main objectives of the development are:
- To generate regional growth of innovation in strategic areas.
- To foster collaborative action between the public and private sectors based on the Local Quadruple Helix (LQH) model.
- To stimulate greater innovation development in terms of skills and practices aiming for actual implementation.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) is committed to developing innovation capability for innovative people from both public and private sectors, as part of an ambitious goal to propel innovation capacity development to the highest level.
Innovation Ladder – is progressed by a broad range of innovation knowledge and technological tools, with the expectation to highly satisfy various demands of service users, focusing mainly on:
- The innovation capability assessment to determine the existing potential of an organization.
- The consultancy services to ensure efficient and easy-to-apply solutions for different development situations.
- The maximization of innovation capability development for organizations and individuals.
The NIA initiated the development of modern innovation tools for efficient and convenient innovation management, also known as the “Total Innovation Management (TIM)”. The NIA hence advanced the “Business Excellence Niche Standard Innovation” program for Standards, Productivity and Innovation for Growth (SPRING) from Singapore, the “EFQM Framework for Innovation” program for European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), and the “Functional Innovation System Model” program for Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) from Germany. Backed by the accomplishment of Total Innovation Management Framework (TIM Framework) and Total Innovation Management Manual (TIM Manual), the NIA was therefore renowned for being the biggest leader of innovation in Thailand.
In 2016, the NIA, in collaboration with the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and the Market for Alternative Investment (MAI), organized its innovation capability maximization program to strengthen the capability and competency of SET-listed investors to generate further development of innovative solutions so as to provide all customers with the highest satisfaction, while moving forward with business integrity and sustainability. Furthermore, the NIA was entrusted with the responsibility to support and promote the development of innovation-based businesses, leading to the advancement of Total Innovation Management (TIM). According to the report, TIM served as a tool to propel the private sector to make use of innovation in a strategic and consistent manner to encourage the evolution of innovation culture, leading to innovation excellence and sustainability. Significantly, TIM was expected to lead outstanding innovation-based organizations to further achievement by being honored with the “Best Innovation Organization” title.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) successfully developed its Quadruple Helix model aiming to generate further development for national innovation, thanks to the cooperation of the public and private sectors, universities, and communities nationwide. The Quadruple Helix model is expected to lead innovative people to a hub of cooperation, connectivity, and co-creation, backed by the enhanced potential to make use of applied knowledge, progress with the development of skills and abilities, and increase efficiency in using limited innovative resources. This helps strengthen the Innovation Ecosystem in various dimensions, leading to several collective benefits as explained below:
- The connectivity of innovation-based knowledge provided by several sectors.
- The strength of innovation network and cooperation.
- The maximization of innovation capability among members of the innovation network.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) has applied Data Science to make efficient use of the entire knowledge from the obtained information, with the expectation to stimulate Competitive Intelligence leading to the achievement of Data-Driven Decision Making. The main objectives of Data Science are:
- To create efficient innovation mechanisms and tools to empower the analysis and assessment of innovation systems.
- To develop supportive mechanisms with modernity and completion of innovation coverage.
- To elevate the quality and effectiveness of innovation systems.
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) has reiterated its intention to increase opportunities to promote the “Innovation Diffusion” strategy, as part of a goal to propel innovation-based products to take a huge leap of growth. Additionally, innovative entrepreneurs will be able to expand their business potential corresponding to the advancement of the Innovation Ladder, applied with the following key mechanisms:
- The development of new marketing models to benefit innovation-based projects.
- The advancement of innovation mechanisms and tools to support innovation market diffusion.
- The collaboration of foreign investment partners to stimulate greater innovation-based investment and technological knowledge dissemination.
High-Value and High-Impact Innovation Portfolio with Tailor-Made Mechanisms
The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) (NIA) has promised to offer its continuing support to the augmentation of high-value and high-impact innovation towards the economic and social development, particularly for startup entrepreneurs, SMEs owners, OTOP developers, and community enterprises. The NIA is immensely inspired by the idea to welcome locally renowned companies and outstanding foreign-based firms to collaborate with one another to fully achieve mutual goals, varying in:
- The augmentation of innovation capability of targeted industries.
- The acquisition of technical support and financial budgets for innovation development.
- The effectiveness of portfolio management.
The NIA has implemented its plans to support the development of innovation-based businesses conforming to the government’s policy, with the collaboration of strategic partners in Thailand and from other foreign nations. To increase efficiency of innovation for production, the public and private sector must work together and be adaptable to the government’s national development policies, prompting people in the country to comply with the Twenty-Year National Development Plan. Meanwhile, the NIA has rigorously attempted to strengthen the foundation for innovation, expected to cause a beneficial impact to national economic development. The NIA also pushed forward the development of innovation and technology through the Double S-Curve model.
- The First S-Curve unveils the development of innovation for existing industries in Thailand. Such development is expected to increase production efficiency and the advancement of innovation for existing industries and will have a direct impact on the economic growth in both the short and long term. The existing industries requiring the development of innovation are listed below:
- 1. Next-Generation Automotive Industry
- 2. Smart Electronics Industry
- 3. Affluent, Medical, and Wellness Tourism Industry
- 4. Agriculture and Biotechnology Industry
- 5. Food for the Future Industry
- The New S-Curve reveals remarkable changes in model and technology. Unlike the First S-Curve, the New S-Curve will serve as key mechanisms in fostering the economic “growth engine” for the next decade. New industries are described below:
- 1. Robotics and Automation Industry
- 2. Aviation Industry
- 3. Biofuels and Biochemical Industry
- 4. Digital Technology Industry
- 5. Medical Hub Industry