The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) is aiming to roll out more innovations this year in order to help Thailand break free from the middle-income trap.
Speaking at an event titled, "NSTDA Beyond Limits: 3 Decades of Impacts", held to showcase the agency's research projects from last year, NSTDA director Narong Sirilertworakul said the agency is responsive to future technological trends, before adding it was behind various innovations in many fields which are essential to national development.
"Last year, the agency was able to generate some 66 billion baht in economic and social impacts. We were also instrumental in [securing] 13 billion baht in investments [for] technological development by the manufacturing and service sectors," he said.
"We also published 538 articles in world-class journals and secured 451 intellectual property rights."
One of the projects showcased at the event was the "20C Battery" -- a new lithium iron phosphate battery which is 20 times more efficient than conventional batteries.
The 20C battery is suitable for use in conjunction with renewable energy generators to enhance the stability of power generation, and it can also be used in electric vehicles, both for public transportation and logistics, Mr Narong added.
Another project that was showcased at the event was "G-Rock" -- light-weight pellets made from clay sediments found at tap water plants, which can be mixed with cement to increase its insulation capacity while reducing its overall weight.
Mr Narong added that NSTDA also established the National Biobank of Thailand and the National Omics Centre to conserve the genetic data of plants, microbes, animals as well as humans.
These databases will assist in the development of advanced genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics technologies, according to the NSTDA director.
"This is an important year for us as it marks the NSTDA's 30th anniversary, so we plan to deliver more innovations that will help improve people's lives, reduce social and economic inequalities. Our main target is to drive Thailand out of the middle-income trap through innovations," he said.
The NSTDA chief said the agency's research projects this year will still focus on five strategic industries: food, health/medicine, energy/materials, biochemistry and tourism.