The Board of Investment (BoI) will increase Thai competitiveness in the world market by supporting 30 local startups this year, notably those embarking on bio-, circular and green (BCG) businesses and S-curve targeted industries.
The support will be made through a fund, set up under the 2017 Competitiveness Enhancement Act to promote startups or companies with high-technology know-how.
"The BoI will focus on startups with deep technology, especially in the BCG field in line with the government's policy to promote environmentally friendly manufacturing," said Duangjai Asawachintachit, secretary-general of the BoI.
BCG encourages manufacturers to adopt techniques that can add value to products and have no or minimal impact on the environment.
The 10-billion-baht fund is part of the state efforts to drive the country's competitiveness through the development of 12 S-curve industries in the Eastern Economic Corridor, which covers parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao.
The industries are new-generation cars; smart electronics; affluent, medical and wellness tourism; agriculture and biotechnology; food; robotics for industry; logistics and aviation; biofuels and biochemicals; digital; medical services; defence; and education development.
Startups eligible for the fund are required to meet BoI criteria. Their establishment must not exceed five years and they have already participated in practical venture capital (PVC) or venture capital (VC) programmes.
Successful candidates will be granted maximum financial support of 5 million, according to Ms Duangjai.
She was speaking during the BCG Startup Investment Day yesterday, co-organised by state and private sector, including the National Innovation Agency (NIA).
Pun-arj Chairatana, executive director of NIA, said his agency set a target to have a total of 100 deep-tech startups specialising in agriculture, food and medical technologies within 2023.
"The government expects its startup development to contribute around 4.4 trillion baht, or around 24% of GDP, in the next five years," he said.
Supattanapong Punmeechaow, deputy Prime Minister, said he expects the BCG Startup Investment Day will help stimulate investment sentiment amid the sluggish economy.