Centre to be a base for innovation

Centre to be a base for innovation

Mr Chaiwut, second from right, looks at a model replica of the Thailand Digital Valley project, which is located in Digital Park Thailand in Chon Buri province's Laem Chabang sub-district.
Mr Chaiwut, second from right, looks at a model replica of the Thailand Digital Valley project, which is located in Digital Park Thailand in Chon Buri province's Laem Chabang sub-district.

A Digital Innovation Centre spanning 40,000 square metres of space is planned for Thailand Digital Valley, located in Chon Buri's Si Racha district, in the next 24 months to allow technology testing and development, according to the Digital Economy and Society (DES) Ministry.

The centre is part of the third phase of Thailand Digital Valley, which aims to serve as the digital hub of Asean. The third phase requires 2.6 billion baht in investment.

The centre is designed to have labs for 5G testing, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR), cloud innovation labs and a design centre.

"This third phase of Thailand Digital Valley is expected to be complete in the next 24 months," said DES Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.

Construction has begun for the Digital Startup Knowledge Exchange Centre spanning 4,500 sq m under the second phase of Thailand Digital Valley. This facility, Mr Chaiwut said, would create a digital startup community where technology exchange and business cooperation can take place.

The construction of this second phase is 80% complete, he said. It is expected to be fully completed in December. The site is fully reserved in advance by tech companies, developers and startups.

According to Mr Chaiwut, Thailand Digital Valley, which carries a total cost of 4.5 billion baht, will be a hub for startups and top tech companies from Thailand and the world to design, develop and test advanced technologies and innovation. It also offers a digital ecosystem which connects big tech firms and digital startups.

The targeted digital start-ups include FinTech, AgriTech, Travel Tech, Healthcare Tech, EduTech and GovTech, he said.

Mr Chaiwut said the project intends to become Asean's digital hub, driving national technology development and digital startups to global market while attracting foreign investment.

The first phase of the project centres on the 1,500-sq-m Digital One Stop Service, facilitating tech investors.

"Thanks to positive feedback from the digital startups in the second phase of the project and the first phase of Digital One Stop Service, the DES ministry has assigned the Digital Economy Promotion Agency [Depa] to speed up the construction of the third phase to capitalise on the country's opportunities and competency in the new economy," he said.

Depa president and chief executive Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said Thailand Digital Valley is expected to create over 20,000 digital jobs and attract over 50 billion baht in investment.

He said Depa has three core development projects to help boost the country's digital transformation, consisting of the Government Big Data Institute (GBDi), Internet of Things Institute, and Startups Institute.

These three can have interactive relationships with each other, Mr Nuttapon said. The IoT Institute can provide tech innovation for startups while GBDi could serve as a data source in the ecosystem, he said.

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