NIA in push for new deep tech, BCG startups

NIA in push for new deep tech, BCG startups

File photo
File photo

The National Innovation Agency (NIA) wants 100 deep tech startups in the country by 2025, with 65 of them engaged with the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy in line with the government's promotion of the economic model.

Joining the push, the Board of Investment (BoI) has vowed to offer a subsidy to startups for the cost of employing talent, with each company projected to receive 5 million baht in assistance.

The BoI's financial support through its 10-billion-baht fund is in line with the 2017 law on the development of the country's competitiveness through targeted industries.

Pun-arj Chairatana, executive director of the NIA, said one of its key missions is to support the creation of innovative business to drive the country's economy, particularly startups associated with deep tech or the BCG model in three key areas: food, agriculture, and medicine.

These three areas have a high potential for growth, but there are still a small number of them as it takes time to apply complex technology from R&D.

"Deep tech startups are different from the general ones as the deep tech operators normally develop their own tech solutions in addition to acquiring them from others," said Mr Pun-arj.

Deep tech startups require support through incubation and acceleration processes for four or five years, which is longer than general startups, he said.

NIA's goal is to create 65 deep tech BCG startups within three years, said Mr Pun-arj.

Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the BoI, said businesses in the BCG sphere are vital to driving the country's economy.

Last year, BCG-linked operators sought BoI's investment promotion assistance at a cost of 152.4 billion baht, up 123% from a year earlier. The applications involved 746 projects in 2021, up 53% from 2020.

From 2015 to 2021, a total of 2,996 projects applied for the BoI's investment promotion at a cost of 675.8 billion baht.

According to Ms Duangjai, the BoI has measures in place to support businesses in the BCG economy and related industries, including financial support from its fund.

A startup which has been approved for financial assistance would be eligible for a 5-million-baht subsidy, she said.

She said BoI, NIA, and 10 partners will hold the "BCG Startup Investment Day" event on March 24 at CW Tower, and will include startup pitching activities, seminars and partner networking.

At least 1,000 participants are expected to join the event, which will be in online and in-person formats. More information can be found at www.boi.go.th.

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