The Program Management Unit for Competitiveness (PMUC), led by Ms. Jantira Yimrewat Vivattarat, chairperson of the Development and Promotion Committee for Increasing Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs), along with staff members, participated in the Startup and Innovation Thailand Expo 2023 (SITE 2023) hosted by the National Innovation Agency (NIA). The event was hosted at the Sirikit National Convention Center from June 22 to 24, 2023.
In this event, Ms. Jantira introduced the new funding plan of PMUC in the panel discussion under the topic of “Linking state-sponsored support mechanisms with innovation funding for Thai entrepreneurs.” She discussed the objectives and goals of the funding, stating that “PMUC is an organization providing funding which was established with the purpose of promoting research at the laboratory level to expand and successfully enter the market. We focus on funding projects with technological readiness levels (TRL) of 4 or higher, covering eight key industries in the country, including 1) high-value foods, 2) tourism and creative economy, 3) health and medical, 4) chemical and biobased materials, 5) future transportation systems, 6) logistics and railway systems, 7) digital platform, and 8) circular economy.
In addition to PMUC, there are four other research programs: Global Partnership, National Quality Infrastructure (NQI), Deep Science and Technology Accelerator Platform, and a new program under my supervision, the Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs) program. This program has a different funding format compared to other PMUC programs. We do not provide direct funding to companies but channel the funding through intermediaries who support and help design the strategy for IDEs, connecting them with Innovation Business Development Services (IBDS), which provide innovation development services.”
Ms. Jantira emphasized, “This funding program focuses on elevating small, medium, and large private companies with annual revenues ranging from 100 to 1,000 million baht to become IDEs by using innovation and competitive advantage-building mechanisms. This transformation is facilitated by intermediaries and the Innovation Business Development Services (IBDS) that act as mentors to help these companies increase their revenues from 100 million baht to 1,000 million baht within 3 years or at least by 20%, measured from year 1 to year 3. The main responsibility of intermediaries and IBDS is to develop innovation capabilities for IDEs, including new product innovations, process innovations, market innovations, and organizational innovations. PMUC began accepting IDEs funding proposals at the end of last year and has already initiated several projects by linking intermediaries with more than 100 small and medium-sized enterprises that are part of the program.”
In addition to participating in the panel discussion, PMUC also set up a public relations booth to promote research funding. They provided consultation and guidance on applying for research funding for private sector entrepreneurs looking to scale up their businesses from the laboratory level to the industrial level. This drew significant interest from the private sector.
Furthermore, some companies that received support from PMUC for developing their innovations also showcased their innovations at the event. These companies include Hill Coffee Limited, a Thai mountain coffee producer that aims to improve the quality of Thai mountain coffee and reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) with their innovative product “Coffogenic,” made from coffee cherry husks. Another company, Tandee Innovfood Co., Ltd., the first patent holder at Chulalongkorn University, presented their white egg protein noodle product under the brand “Eggyday.”
PMUC is now ready to accept project proposals for the IDEs program for the fiscal year 2023 starting from early October. Those interested in submitting project proposals for funding can attend a briefing on PMUC’s support mechanisms under the IDEs program on July 5, 2023, from 09:00 to 12:00 via Zoom cloud meeting, Facebook Live, and YouTube streaming. Registration is open from now until June 30, 2023, and you can register at https://forms.gle/31WUPQpzvrfzKRef7.