NEC sounded out on key role for showcase smart park project in EEC

Economy March 17, 2018 01:00

By THE NATION

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THE Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) is exploring working with Japanese technology company NEC Corp to determine the digital systems that will underpin the showcase Smart Park of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate.



After discussions with NEC executives, Pasu Loharjun, the permanent secretary for industry and chairman of the IEAT, said the agency had been developing the smart park at the Map Ta Phut estate in Rayong province as a model of a digitally managed industrial estate in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

He said that NEC Corp, acknowledged for its innovation and technology, has been invited to lay down the systems - such as for communications, information technology, security and logistics - for business development. The smart park is scheduled to open in 2021.

IEAT governor Verapong Chaiperm said that, among NEC’s innovations, it is known for its facial recognition technology called NeoFace. The technology works in combination with surveillance cameras to combat crime and is being set up in smart cities across the world, Verapong said.

Investment amounting to hundreds of millions of baht in the smart park will be determined later as being best managed by a government to government (G2G) process, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) or under a public-private partnership (PPP).

The smart park is seen as helping to drive development of the so-called S-Curve industries that are at the core of the government’s Thailand 4.0 vision. These industries include aviation and aerospace, robotics, logistics and other digital industries.

Yutaka Tomiyori, senior manager for business development at NEC, said that Asean and East Asia tend to see fast growth in smart city business as populations in the big cities will rise quickly with demand for security technology and solutions to traffic problems.

The place with the highest potential is Hong Kong, followed by Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and each country is appropriate for different businesses, Tomiyori said.

 Indonesia is suitable for security systems in sport stadiums and smart traffic systems, while Thailand is appropriate for security systems with face and fingerprint scans and smart CCTV surveillance cameras to detect irregularities and dangerous people or criminals, he said, adding that this capability should be extended to a smart city control centre in the future.

 “NEC Corp has expertise in information and communication technology with different solutions in different areas. 

If a city is an old city, sensors will be set up to upgrade it to a smart city and it will be more difficult than making a new city as a smart one,” Tomiyori said.

In regard to the EEC, a smart city plan has been proposed and discussed with Thailand with solutions to the security system, he said.

Tomiyori said NEC had no immediate plan for investment in the EEC but was open to participating with other Japanese companies in projects in the region.

Officials from the IEAT will conduct a study of a management model of Ota Market, Japan’s largest central wholesale market for fruit, vegetables and flowers for the proposed Eastern Fruit Corridor (EFC) in the smart park. The Ota Market is known internationally for its auctions.

The study will be conducted in a number of key areas: product inspection before auction; auction of all products through a computerised system with licensed bidders and middlemen; a bidder with the highest offer price as a winner; sanitary inspection of products; and product distribution in due time.