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Universities join push on EEC innovation


THE NATIONAL Science and Technology Development Agency has joined hands with nine Rajamangala universities to develop innovation and technology human resources in support of the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) running through Rayong and Chon Buri provinces.

“The EECi is a complete ecosystem for innovation and a new economic estate specialising in research, innovation and related testing and evaluation, which will boost the country’s competitiveness in the world market,” said Narong Sirilertworakul, president of the NSTDA.
A skilled workforce is needed for various industries including automobiles, healthcare equipment, aviation and biotechnology. 
The aim is to amplify the country’s global competitiveness while supporting all kinds of activities that improve the quality of life for local people. 
Exempt from pre-emptive legal regulations, EECi is a sandbox for innovation testing and regulatory adjustment. 
EECi campuses will house government-funded and private research laboratories, field test centres, and pilot and demonstration plants. 
The two campuses are the Wang Chan Valley Campus located on a 485-hectare site in Rayong and the Space Krenovation Park, located on a 19-hectare site in Chon Buri’s Sri Racha district.
The Wang Chan Valley Campus will combine an “Aripolis” for automation, robotics and intelligent systems, and a “Biopolis” for life science and biotechnology, while the second campus specialises in the aeronautics and aerospace industry. 
The agency will spend about Bt150 million to prepare the master plan for the EECi project.
Sathit Puttachaiyong, president of Rajamangala University of Technology Krungthep, said the project would help develop quality innovative human resources to support the demand of industries. 
The universities will also provide “train the trainers” modules to develop students in various areas to support the needs of industries including aviation, transportation and logistics. 
They will develop and design new curricula so that they can transfer knowledge and know-how to support the demand of industries. 
It is hoped that the collaboration will also drive the “digital economy” and enhance the competitiveness of the country as a whole. 
The nine Rajamangala University of Technology campuses are Krungthep, Thanyaburi, Tawan-ok, Phra Nakhon, Rattanakosin, Lanna, Srivijaya, Suvarnabhumi, and Isan.
 

Published : June 16, 2017

By : JIRAPAN BOONNOON THE NATION