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Research: Business in the driver's seat

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Govt R&D has failed so business has to drive research now. Relax regulations to get researchers into companies. 



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World Economic Forum

Private sector must lead the way in R&D

5/06/2012
Sulak Sivaraksa

The government should allow the private sector to drive research and development and make it easier for people at universities to move into business, says the secretary-general of the national science technology and innovation policy office.

Pichet Durongkaveroj, speaking at a session on science, technology and innovation at the World Economic Forum on East Asia last week, said it should be the private sector, not the state, that takes the lead in R&D.

"The government believes it shouldn't engage with the private sector, so it loses sight of the fact that this sector is what will move Thailand forward," he said.

He added bluntly that public-sector R&D efforts have largely failed and that Thailand needs to invest four times more in R&D than it does now.

On average, investment in R&D by mid-level developed countries equals 1% of GDP. But R&D investment by both the public and private sectors in Thailand accounts for just 0.25% of GDP. 

There are currently nine researchers for every 10,000 people in the country. That ratio must rise to 15:10,000 in the next four to five years, Dr Pichet said.

Bridging the supply-and-demand gap in human resources is also pivotal to enhancing R&D efforts.

Dr Pichet said the government should ensure a steady stream of researchers for private firms by revising old regulations that are shutting them out.

"Although there is demand for skilled researchers and professors for R&D purposes at private companies, outdated regulations make it impossible for such people who are working at universities and public institutions to take these jobs," he said.

He urged the government to make it possible for researchers and professors from public institutions to work at private companies for one or two years.

Poor communication between public institutions and private business also impedes the commercialisation of new research and prototypes.

Universities tend to be publication-oriented, as the number of published papers per year is one of the criteria for judging an institution's performance.

Dr Pichet said researchers should instead be given incentives to find commercial uses for their findings. "We have been accused of violating intellectual property rights, and it's going to be like this for a long time unless we invest more in R&D for our own products."

(Source: Bangkok Post, World Economic Forum, Private sector must lead the way in R&D, 5/06/2012, Sulak Sivaraksa, link

Research and Development Vocabulary

research and development (R&D) - work that examines new ideas and tries to develop new products and manufacturing processes from these ideas (See Wikipedia)

Private sector must lead the way in R&D

drive - be the force that makes something to happen
drive research and development - be the force that makes research and development happen

lack - does not have ขาดแคลน

Thailand has a lack of researchers
Thailand lacks researchers

innovation - a new way of doing something นวัตกรรม
policy - a plan of action to guide decisions and achieve outcomes (See Wikipedia) นโยบาย

science technology and innovation policy

national - for the whole country
national science technology and innovation policy
national science technology and innovation policy office

The government should allow the private sector to drive research and development and make it easier for people at universities to move into business, says the secretary-general of the national science technology and innovation policy office.

efforts - the work done towards achieving some goal; people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม
public-sector R&D efforts

have largely failed - have mostly failed
public-sector R&D efforts have largely failed

investment
- taking your money and putting it into projects to make a profit or earn interest (buying stock shares, bonds, real estate)
investment in R&D

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
private sector - all the businesses in an economy

lead the way in - be the first to do something
takes the lead in - be the first to do something
takes the lead in R&D

session - a formal meeting การชุมนุม ประชุม
state - government รัฐ

engage with - interact with; work together with
government doesn't engage with the private sector

loses sight of the fact that
... - forgets that ...

Pichet Durongkaveroj, speaking at a session on science, technology and innovation at the World Economic Forum on East Asia last week, said it should be the private sector, not the state, that takes the lead in R&D. "The government believes it shouldn't engage with the private sector, so it loses sight of the fact that this sector is what will move Thailand forward," he said.

bluntly - to say something directly that people may not like

He added bluntly that public-sector R&D efforts have largely failed and that Thailand needs to invest four times more in R&D than it does now. On average, investment in R&D by mid-level developed countries equals 1% of GDP. But R&D investment by both the public and private sectors in Thailand accounts for just 0.25% of GDP.  There are currently nine researchers for every 10,000 people in the country. That ratio must rise to 15:10,000 in the next four to five years, Dr Pichet said.

human resources - the employees working for a company and the skills and experience they bring with them in doing their job (See Wikipedia)
resources - the materials, money, and equipment needed for a person or organisation to function properly ทรัพยากร  ทรัพยากรที่มีอยู่

supply and demand - the two most important concepts in economics, usually equal when things are working correctly (See Wikipedia
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
supply - the availability of goods and services in the market being sold by companies

supply-and-demand gap - when supply or demand is greater than needed or desired (excess demand or excess supply)
supply-and-demand gap in human resources  
the supply-and-demand gap in human resources

gap - the distance or difference between two things ช่องว่าง
bridge the supply-and-demand gap in human resources

enhancing - making better or increasing
R&D efforts - R&D work
enhancing R&D efforts - increasing R&D work

pivotal - the central or most important thing or person in a situation
pivotal to enhancing R&D efforts

Bridging the supply-and-demand gap in human resources is also pivotal to enhancing R&D efforts.

steady
- continuous without stopping
steady stream - when something comes continuously without stopping

ensure
- to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจ ให้การยืนยัน
ensure a steady stream


regulations
- official government rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ  ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ  กฎระเบียบ
shut out - 1. not allow to participate in some activity; 2. not allow to come into a place

Dr Pichet said the government should ensure a steady stream of researchers for private firms by revising old regulations that are shutting them out.

outdated - old and not currently being used, old-fashioned
outdated regulations - old government regulations (not useful anymore)

institutions - large and important organizations, such as universities or banks สถาบัน
public institutions - government organizations (example: government university or ministry) 

"Although there is demand for skilled researchers and professors for R&D purposes at private companies, outdated regulations make it impossible for such people who are working at universities and public institutions to take these jobs," he said.

urged - advised someone very strongly about what action should be taken วิงวอน

He urged the government to make it possible for researchers and professors from public institutions to work at private companies for one or two years.

communication - the process of making information (and other things like feeling or emotion) known to other people การติดต่อสื่อสาร (See Wikipedia)
poor communication - not telling (or making known to people) the things that they need to know

commercialisation - developing something so that it can be sold at a profit ทำเพื่อการค้ากำไร
prototype - the first product design used to make designs for products that are finally sold in the market

Poor communication between public institutions and private business also impedes the commercialisation of new research and prototypes.

tend to be - to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic มักจะ

oriented - tending to be concerned about....; many concerned with or directed towards
publication-oriented - tending to be concerned about publishing academic journal articles with research in it

academic journal - "a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research. Content typically takes the form of articles presenting original research, review articles, and book reviews" (See Wikipedia)

performance - how well or badly something works (or whether an investment provides a reasonable return)
judging an institution's performance

criteria - a standard that is used for judging something or for making a decision about something บรรทัดฐาน (See glossary)
criteria for judging an institution's performance

Universities tend to be publication-oriented, as the number of published papers per year is one of the criteria for judging an institution's performance.

incentives - a reward to encourage people to do something สิ่งกระตุ้น  รางวัล ผลตอบแทน

commercial - for business purposes
commercial uses - use of something by businesses (to make a profit and provide jobs)

findings - the results or conclusions of an investigation or research

intellectual property (IP) - an idea, clothing design, artwork, writing, TV show, etc that someone owns and cannot be copied or used without the owner's permission (See Wikipedia)

rights
- what the law allows you to have and do สิทธิ์ (See Wikipedia)
violating intellectual property rights

Dr Pichet said researchers should instead be given incentives to find commercial uses for their findings. "We have been accused of violating intellectual property rights, and it's going to be like this for a long time unless we invest more in R&D for our own products."

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