Reverse Brain Drain Office wants Thai experts to come home

Published on March 27, 2007

The Reverse Brain Drain Office has set a direction this year to work with Thai experts from abroad to create research and development projects with local experts to provide technology and information transfers.

Sawat Tantiphanwadi, the director of the Reverse Brain Drain Office at the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), said there are more than 100 Thai experts living abroad who have the potential to provide knowledge and new technology skills to local experts and researchers.

He said that as Thai experts abroad are closer to new technology, it's necessary to create networks to bring their skill and transfer their expertise to local people to support research and development for commercial applications.

Potential technology that could be transferred includes fibre-reinforced concrete which utilises fly ash under bending, shear and torsion conditions, biodiesel and bio-plastic projects, for example.

He added the office was now working with Thai experts in Europe, the United States and Canada to set up the Association of Thai Professionals in Europe and the Association of Thai Professionals in America and Canada. It plans to set up associations in Japan and Australia in the near future.

"We are looking for Thai professionals and experts in Australia and New Zealand to set up an association so they will able to provide knowledge and technology transfer to help Thailand's development as a whole. They will provide a short cut to develop new technology and services since they are closer to new technology and innovation," he said.

The office also sent two senior Thai students to Japan so they will have the opportunity to experience zero-gravity experiments in a zero-gravity environment on a Japanese aircraft flying a parabolic flight. He said the students had conducted research for their study of medical drug dispersion under a micro-gravity environment.

"It is a very good opportunity for Thai students to perform their advanced experiments in a zero-gravity environment," said Sawat.

The project is part of cooperation between NSTDA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to allow Thai students to join in Jaxa's zero-gravity experiment project.

As zero-gravity conditions cannot be found in normal earth environments, only in space, Jaxa has simulated weightless environments inside an aircraft. During a two-hour flight, approximately 20 seconds of zero gravity will occur around eight to 15 times and this is a key period for conducting experiments.

Jirapan Boonnoon

The Nation