PMUC invites researchers – private sector to help enhance the country’s competitiveness.

Delving into economic-industrial research, focusing on 7 areas of research, receiving funding
from PMUC, a new research support agency, whose primary role is to ‘manage research
projects’ to enable a move towards real-world application. The main emphasis is placed on
enhancing the capacity of SMEs and the private sector to increase Thailand’s
competitiveness in the global economy.

Assoc. Prof. Siree Chaiseri

Assoc. Prof. Siree Chaiseri, Ph.D., director of Program Management Unit for Competitiveness
(PMUC), Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI), disclosed
that, after a major change in the country’s research funding and innovation management
system, the PMUC is a research fund management unit that will help bring research results
into real application, reducing the risk faced by the private sector in using research results
for commercial purposes. The main emphasis is placed on supporting research in
collaboration with SMEs and the industrial sector. The research topics should come from
real end users, i.e. private companies or SME entrepreneurs throughout the country. Then,
once the theses is clearly understood, PMUC will help to find the answer by considering
existing research work, which has achieved a certain level of success. Such research results
are then adapted to fulfill current requirements or needs. This will eventually lead to
enhancing the country’s economic competitiveness.

“The problem with Thai research in the past is that we focused more on funding research
which was mostly in the laboratory stages, and it all usually ended there. Unfortunately,
most of the time, no commercial use or impact on society was ever derived to build actual
competitiveness for Thailand. This was how the saying ‘research on the shelf’ came about.”

“This means that Thailand really does not lack researchers. There is no shortage in terms of
novel technological ideas being generated. But what Thailand lacks, rather, is ‘research
management’ to bring research work sitting on the shelf to apply and create real tangible
value. The issue here is that, for research work done in the laboratories to actually reach the
commercial production process, there are many more steps required for that to happen.
This is a big gap that commercial entrepreneurs do not want to bear the risk.”

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siree said that PMUC research grants are a new opportunity for Thai
researchers to be able to actually push their research work towards commercialization and
enhance the country’s competitiveness. At the same time, it is an opportunity for
entrepreneurs to collaborate with PMUC in order to leverage innovations arising from
research to meet their own business needs more precisely. PMUC, which is a state-funded
platform, will join in providing funding for research work that originates from the actual
needs of private businesses, and which is beneficial to the country. The amount of research
budget will depend on the readiness of the technology being considered, which will be
handed off to the private sector for commercial use. This reduces the risk of entrepreneurs
to invest in R&D, and closing the gap and increasing the opportunity for Thai research to be
used commercially to the fullest efficiency.

Director of PMUC said about the potential of researchers, who are selected for specifically
targeted research funding, that they must understand the production process because our
research funding focuses mainly on production. Products that are put out must meet many
standards. Over the past year, PMUC has provided funding to projects which have enhanced
the country’s economic competitiveness, while not neglecting potential impacts on social
and environmental aspects of national development. Today, I would like to invite

researchers, who are determined to work together to drive the country forward, to work
with PMUC. Our organization has set up 7 research funding groups waiting for collaboration
with skilled researchers including: 1. High-value agricultural products and health food, 2.
Tourism and creative economy, 3. Health and Medicine, 4. Bio-energy, bio-chemicals and
bio-materials, 5. Digital platform, 6. Circular economy, and 7. Advanced technology and
knowledge base.

“We would like to invite universities, research agencies, as well as researchers who have
completed research, to work together in raising the country’s competitiveness to a higher

“At the same time, PMUC would like to see the private sector invest more in utilizing
research outputs, and we would like to see more research being put to practical use, and
more application of research outputs and knowledge base towards enhancing the country’s
competitiveness in a tangible way.”

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