Thailand's long-term R&D outlook remains positive NXPO pledges confidence with post-Covid measures
The research & development (R&D) investment survey undertaken by the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO) and the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) in 2019, found that Thailand spent 193,072 million baht on research & development, equivalent to 1.14% of GDP with 5.9% growth year-on-year. Of this, 23% (43,828 million baht) came from the government sector while 77% (149,244 million baht) was spent by the private sector. The top three industries with the most R&D investment were food, petroleum, and finance & insurance. Government spending primarily involved infrastructure and frontier research topics, including quantum technology, space science & technology, high energy physics, and molecular biology.
- Create an ecosystem conducive to research, development, and innovation. This ranges from providing tax incentives to giving financial support by setting up a matching fund of up to 10 million baht per project. Oftentimes, the government helps supply research infrastructure such as laboratories, research equipment, and pilot plants. Moreover, there is an accelerator centre to help scale up business for startups.
- Increase ease of doing innovation business with the aid of law and regulation amendments. For example, now fund recipients can hold the rights of their research, enabling them to create commercial values out of their studies. To support talent mobility, researchers who are government employees are now allowed the flexibility to collaborate more with private companies on more commercial projects.
- Supervise market mechanisms to support innovation. For example, government agencies can be encouraged to purchase products on the Thai innovation list in order to jumpstart demand for Thai innovations and provide feedback. Innovation markets in certain industries can be supported by the government because the products are mainly public goods such as agricultural produce.
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