DIP announces ‘3-stage rocket’ to launch Thai SMEs

business June 13, 2018

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Accelerated opening of seven ITC centres and the T-GoodTech business matching event slated for late July!

Bangkok, June 7, 2018 – The Director-General of the Department of Industrial Promotion announced the results  of its SMEs development program in line with the objectives of the ‘4 Tools, 1 Strategy’ policy, particularly concerning the Industry Transformation Center (ITC), which has provided service to more than 5,000 users from the capital and upcountry. Implementation of the Digital Value Chain project can drive SMEs to the Global Value Chain using the T-GoodTech project to link to the J-GoodTech database of Japan. A target of 2,600 SME users has been set for the T-GoodTech website and database which will be fully operational within August of this year.

Mr. Kobchai Sungsitthisawad, Director-General of the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP), said that the Department is committed to strengthening all levels of SMEs to stay abreast of developments in the digital world and in preparation for the 4.0 era (Smart SMEs) by using key promotional and development tools under the ‘4 Tools, 1 Strategy’ concept. These include 1) IT: Services for the development of IT systems; 2) Automation: Development of production systems to improve production capabilities; 3) Robotics: Reduction of labour in production processes; and 4) Innovation: Development of innovations to create added value; and 1 Strategy: Development of industrial clusters, which is needed to ensure the growth and strength of Thai SMEs. DIP has established cooperation with Japan under the Connected Industries project, utilizing a “3-Stage Rocket Approach” to drive SMEs into the 4.0 era. The three stages comprise Stage 1 - Visualize Machine: Digitize and analyze data from machines and use it to improve production processes; Stage 2 - Visualize Craftsmanship: Collect work force information using digital technologies to ensure work proceeds properly and effectively (Stages 1 and 2 are slated for implementation in July of this year. A budget of more than Bt70 million has been allocated to check the effectiveness of automation in the production processes of more than 500 SMEs nationwide.); and Stage 3 - Lean Automation System Integrators (LASI): Joint development of a demonstration lean automation production project with DENSO. The project involves a Lean Automation System Integrator with an automated machine system for use as a learning aid and to spur supply and demand in the S-Curve in the robotics and automation systems industry. Assigned to DIP by the Ministry of Industry, the LASI centre is one of the services under the Industry Transformation Centre (ITC) which seeks to rapidly raise the standard of Thai SMEs to SME 4.0 level.

DIP has also joined forces with PTT Plc to set up a building within the ITC to provide expert and timely advice on the plastics and bioplastics industries using a video conference system to connect to experts at the head office. At the same time, the ITC has expanded its services through five centres at Chiang Mai, Phitsanulok, Ubol Ratchathani, Songkhla and the ceramics centre in Lampang province. From the commencement of services to the present day (as of May 31, 2018), for both the central and upcountry regions, the centre has provided prototype production services for 271 firms, product design services for 228 firms, food and agricultural processing services for 138 firms, packaging services for 61 firms, machinery services for 59 firms as well as educational visits and seminars for 4,888 parties, for a total of 5,645 users across all categories of service. Nonetheless, DIP plans to speed up the establishment of seven additional Industry Transformation Centres under provincial Industrial Promotion Centres in Pichit, Udon Thani, Khon Kaen, Nakhon Ratchasima, Suphanburi, Chonburi and Surat Thani. All seven centres are expected to be fully operational within July 2018.

In addition, to elevate Thai SMEs to meet international standards, DIP has implemented its Digital Value Chain project to drive SMEs towards the Global Value Chain by supporting the use of technologies through website and online business matching, known as the “T-GoodTech” (ThaiGood Technology) platform. The platform provides Business to Business (B2B) services between Thai SMEs. T-GoodTech’s database is connected to Japan’s J-GoodTech, which consolidates a database of 17,000 entrepreneurs from 11 countries (including 1,365 registered Thai SMEs), facilitating business match ups between Thai and global entrepreneurs.

“Under the Digital Value Chain project, DIP aims to enlist 2,600 Thai SMEs on the J-GoodTech and T-GoodTech platforms within 2018. Currently over 1,100 Thai SMEs are registered on the T-GoodTech platform via http://www.tgoodtech.com,” said Mr. Kobchai. “We hope the platform will promote at least 80 business match ups and are planning to expand connectivity to cooperative networks between the Thai and Japanese industrial sectors, and beyond, such as Hong Kong and the CLMV countries [Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam]. This will improve the image of Thai SMEs, their products and services in the international market and enable Thai products and services to reach a wider international market.

“DIP will organize a business matching and expo event at the end of July in order to facilitate business linkages between Thai SMEs in the food and food-related industries registering on the T-GoodTech website and associations engaging in the food industry, such as the Thai Restaurant Association, tourism associations and the Thai Hotels Association. We expect to see a minimum of 50 new business match ups the event,” Kobchai said.

Kobchai explained that DIP has played a part in the development of industrial clusters since 2016. So far, 86 industrial clusters have been developed through solid cooperation and connections, and they have continuously raised their capacity and competitiveness. In 2017, DIP’s clusters and super clusters received support from the agency  more than 800 million Baht. In 2018, DIP is continuing to emphasize cluster development and connectivity among 14 clusters/280 businesses, covering processed agricultural products, cosmetics, organic rice, textiles and souvenirs. With the development of super clusters and increased connectivity, DIP will focus on developing eight clusters/160 businesses, including the next-generation automotive, smart electronics, food for the future, digital and medical equipment sectors.

The director-general added that in 2019, DIP plans to promote and develop SMEs based on the specific needs of target groups. Entrepreneurs will be categorized by industrial type and arranged in groups to receive DIP training on how to improve the efficiency of production processes and marketing channels, as well as financial support from DIP, with value for money and expected returns being taken into consideration.  Additionally, DIP is going to publicize knowledge references from model businesses which other SMEs can use as case studies and adapt for their own businesses.