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Universities to create ‘innovation hubs’ to push technology surge

Apr 05. 2018
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By Rachanon Charoonsak
The Nation

The Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) is taking concrete steps to implement its Innovation Hubs policy.

The policy has sought to ensure CUPT universities double as the bases for innovative product and service development. Some such innovations, reflecting the values of the policy, were on display at a recent two-day Thailand Innovation Hubs 4.0 event.

Held at the Siam Paragon shopping complex, the event focused on the five key innovation sectors – agriculture and food, bio-energy, smart city, creative economy, and ageing society. The event also demonstrated the capabilities of artificial-intelligence (AI) robots built by several Thai universities. 

Assoc-Professor Perapong Tekasakul, head of the Innovation Hubs project, said it was necessary that the country undergo human-resource and educational reform, along with integrating research in line with the Thailand 4.0 policy. 

“The CUPT Innovation Hubs will build on research to develop innovations for the country,” he said. 

These hubs will also pursue public-private partnership (PPP), he said, to make the utmost use of research findings, undertake addition research with commercial potential, create tech start-ups and upgrade existing industries. 

Deputy Education Minister Udom Kachintorn said disruption from Internet technologies (IT) had already spread far and wide, requiring that all people and industries keep pace.

“Universities have an important role to play in regards to producing future employees that industries need. Graduates should have many skills,” said Udom, who is also a professor.

If universities fail to change, he said, their students may not be able to get a job after graduation.

“As the world changes, we need to change with the world,” he said.

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