DE Fund allots B2.5bn for digital development

DE Fund allots B2.5bn for digital development

Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn
Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn

Some 2.5 billion baht will be set aside for digital development projects subject to be financed by the Digital Economy and Society Development Fund (DE Fund) in fiscal 2022, according to Digital Economy and Society (DES) Minister Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.

Interested parties wishing to pitch their projects can submit their proposals for consideration from Feb 15 to March 31, especially in the areas of fintech, health tech, government tech, innovation tech, agriculture tech, digital and manpower.

Funding for digital projects, Mr Chaiwut said, is vital to accelerate the country's digital transformation in sync with the new economy and normalcy.

The DE Fund, established under the DES Act, is mainly supported by the Office of National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC), which set aside 15% of its earnings from the spectrum auction and 15% of its annual fee revenue for it.

The NBTC office allots about 5 billion baht to the fund each year, the minister said.

"The Digital Economy and Society Development Fund Management Committee has approved the financing of 2.5 billion baht under the fund to the projects for fiscal 2022," said Mr Chaiwut.

Projects wishing to make a pitch can find details at www.defund.onde.go.th.

Meanwhile, the committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, yesterday approved eight digital projects worth a combined one billion baht, which will be pursued by the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (Depa).

The committee's meeting was also attended by Mr Chaiwut, Ajarin Pattanapanchai, permanent secretary for digital economy and society, and Putchapong Nodthaisong, secretary-general of the Office of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission.

The eight projects comprise a school bus platform, a platform project called "Connexion", a project to digitally transform local markets, a project that supports digital new generations, a health information exchange system, a digital project to support the country's reopening for tourism as well as a campaign to upskill games service entrepreneurs to international level and a project to develop operators in the e-sports industry.

These eight projects will also be financed by the DE Fund.

Gen Prawit pointed out that the DE Fund is meant to transform the country's economy and society towards a completely digital realm.

This will lead the country towards digital Thailand in line with the national policy and plan to support digital development for both the economy and society.

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