Digital and IoT roadshow headed to Japan and China

Digital and IoT roadshow headed to Japan and China

The government plans to launch a roadshow for the Digital Park project and Internet of Things (IoT) Institute next month in Japan and for China in December as it seeks to attract foreign investments and promote Thai startups.

Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, president of the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa), said the agency will target Japanese enterprises that have yet to directly invest in Thailand, including startups and universities that could collaborate with Thai universities for research and training.

The enterprises include a Mitsubishi affiliate that Depa wants to work with on innovation and IoT.

In China, the government aims to sign a collaboration agreement with Tsinghua University through Tus-Holdings Co to establish cooperation with Thai universities for creating a digital curriculum for the government's Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project.

Tus-Holdings was formerly Tsinghua University Science Park (TusPark) Development Center, founded in 1994. It is a science and technology investment holdings group that is developing, constructing, operating and managing TusPark.

Tus-Holdings is also one of the first national demonstration enterprises in the modern service industry.

Tus-Holdings established the world's largest global innovative hub, with over 200 businesses based there and provides incubation services to over 5,000 enterprises.

Recently, Mr Nuttapon said the Digital Economy and Society Ministry and Tus-Holdings joined forces to establish the China-Thailand Digital Incubator at the Thailand Digital Big Bang 2018 event.

The incubator is the first collaboration by the two countries to promote tech startups for innovation, using technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics.

The Digital Park project is under a five-year development roadmap (2018-22). The project covers an area of 709 rai located in CAT Telecom's property in the Sri Racha district of Chon Buri province.

The Digital Park is as a flagship project of the EEC, divided into three zones: an innovation space, university 4.0 and digital academy and a living space.

IOT LAUNCHING PAD

The Digital Park project is being pushed through two phases of development. One focuses on construction of the IoT institute and the other finalises the master plan and selects partners for constructing infrastructure and utilities under a public-private partnership.

The IoT institute covers 30 rai in the Digital Park. It is being constructed under a government budget of 3.9 billion baht, mainly handled by the DE Ministry and Depa.

The government hopes the research institute and universities will provide knowledge and information for an IoT system that would serve enterprises in the Digital Park project and overall economy.

The IoT institute will comprise 2.8 rai of office and residence buildings with a budget of 104 million baht, and a 25-rai innovation space to be built with a budget of 1.38 billion baht.

The remaining budget will be set for interested private sector parties to invest in closed labs for innovative tech development through a public-private partnership.

Mr Nuttapon said the IoT Institute will start construction for the first phase in February 2019, with the aim of completion by 2020.

FUTURE VISION

The project is part of Thailand's plan to become the digital infrastructure hub of Asean.

"By next year, we expect three global vendors to sign co-investment agreements with Depa to establish test labs that will be located in the first phase of IoT Institute."

Several global vendors have expressed interest and have been talking with Depa about the test labs in the IoT institute, including Huawei Technologies, Cisco and SK Telecom.

For the development of infrastructure and utilities in the Digital Park, CAT is in the process of hiring an advising company to help select potential partners to co-construct infrastructure for the project.

Mr Nuttapon said the government expects the terms of reference for the Digital Park project to be made public in January to attract private entities as partners in a public-private partnership, where partners include related infrastructure and utility developers.

"The two projects will act as a digital innovation and research park," he said.


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