Wed, August 10, 2022


Eastern innovation districts planned to boost start-ups

THE NATIONAL Innovation Agency (NIA) and its partners are developing “innovation districts” in the Eastern region, expecting to generate 400 start-ups over the next three years and generate total economic value of Bt17.6 billion in five years.

NIA director Pun-arj Chairatana said the agency would kick off the innovation districts this quarter in order to develop three areas of Chon Buri province – Bang Saen, Sri Racha and Pattaya – and Rayong’s Ban Chang district, the location of U-tapao International Airport.
The new eastern innovation districts will provide the impetus for transformation of urban planning and develop the Internet of Things to provide quality service and improve the quality of life for people living in the areas, the NIA claims. 
The agency says it will provide human-centric engagement in order to win the endorsement of people in each area, encourage investment by both the private sector, such as land development, and the public sector in order to inspire people to create innovation and businesses in the smart |districts. 
Moreover, the new innovation districts will support the development of start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises as well as create internationalisation in smart-city areas. 
Pun-arj said the NIA would be the facilitator of such projects, partnering with local governments and the private sector to support urban development, create awareness and create challenges for business to be innovative. 
The aim is to develop 400 start-ups, 5,000 SMEs, and large corporates within the next three years, creating economic value of Bt17.6 billion within five years. Start-ups will contribute Bt1.6 billion of that figure, with the remaining Bt16 billion coming from SMEs and large corporates. 
Moreover, the eastern innovation districts are expected to be employing more than 204,000 workers within 10 years, Pun-arj said.
He said Sri Racha would be the first city that the NIA and its partners would develop as an innovation district, focusing on digital technology and the space, energy, “industry 4.0” and e-port sectors. 
Later, the Bang Saen innovation district will focus on tourism, education, and smart-city technology. 
The Pattaya innovation district will focus on tourism, the MICE (meetings, incentive travel, conventions and exhibitions) industry and healthcare. 
The U-tapao Ban Chang innovation district will focus on logistics. 
“We are cooperating with partners such as the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency, the Energy Ministry, CAT [Telecom], Thai Oil, Kasetsart University and Sahapat to develop, support and promote the new eastern innovation districts,” Pun-arj said.
He said the NIA next year planned to develop “innovation constellation districts” in Chiang Mai, Khon Khen and Phuket provinces.

Published : April 09, 2017