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Digital Ventures, universities, Microsoft and KX join forces in national mission to promote deep-tec

Apr 03. 2018
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By The Nation

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In encouraging national competitiveness enhancement and innovation, Digital Ventures, the financial-technology investment and development subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, on Tuesday announced a new programme, “U.REKA”, to nurture skills and knowledge in deep technology, from upstream to downstream.

The venture is being undertaken through cooperation with seven leading universities, Microsoft Thailand and The Knowledge Exchange (KX) in a research-and-development incubation programme.

The seven university project partners, all with renowned engineering faculties, are: Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, King Mongkut Institute of Technology Lat Krabang, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thon Buri, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Thammasat University, and Chiang Mai University.

Orapong Thien-Ngern, chief executive officer of Digital Ventures, said: “We have observed many challenges in the development of an ecosystem for start-ups and innovation, especially in deep-technology research and development in Thailand. 

“In other global innovation hubs, like the US, China and Japan, enhancing the ecosystem, including full support from the private sector, the government, education institutes, entrepreneur mindset, and financial resources, is observed. This has sparked the idea to create the U.REKA programme to enhance Thailand’s ability to develop innovations in the long run.”

The project will encourage lecturers, students, researchers and those interested in advanced technology to join forces as a start-up enterprise and initiate new ideas in developing deep technologies – such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, clouds and security, big data/Internet of Things, virtual reality/augmented reality, and quantum computing – into innovations. 

These advanced technologies will enhance the development of key industries, starting with retail, tourism/travel and financial services, and the ideas will be turned into actual products and services available on the market, the CEO explained.

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