National Innovation Agency (NIA) with the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) jointly responded to national policy – create added economic value with culture or 5F including FOOD, FILM ,FASHION ,FIGHTING and FESTIVAL; laid out important actions including pushing forward Entertainment Innovation with Startups in MARTech, supporting local food innovations, startup-community matching to broaden tourism perspective and Thai traditional culture. Moreover, aimed to reinforce 5 aspects of Thai culture as Thailand Innovation DNA, creating memorable images for the new era of Thailand’s travel and tourism.
Pros. Dr Anek Laothamatas, Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, revealed “The Government has laid out a 20 Years National Strategy with the mission to revolutionize secured, wealthy and sustainable Thailand leaving behind a spot in lower-middle income countries and inequality. The MHESI prioritized promoting and advancing Science, Technology and Innovation; and Social Science, Humanities and Liberal Arts; to achieve the integration of interdisciplinary knowledge and drive the country forward securely. “Culture” is a part of the Soft Power driving forces corresponding to the BCG economy model in adding value to the creative economy. This is another outstanding strength of Thai people for all 5 potential culture fields including 1) Food 2) Film – Movie and Video 3) Fashion – Thai Fashion Design 4) Fighting – Thai Martial Art and 5) Festival – Thai Traditional Festival.
Therefore, the introduction of “Innovations” as an important tool to create added value to these “Cultures” is a good sign in driving and accelerating the potential growth of the Thai economy. The MHESI, therefore, established Thailand Academy of Social Science, Humanities and Arts “TASSHA” to drive forward 5 areas including Suvarnabhumi Studies, Global Studies, Sufficiency Economy, National Museums and Fine Arts, and local artists, using the University networks for the utilization of knowledge in Science, Technology and Innovation in combination with Social Science, Humanities and Liberal Arts in order to grow together with the development of Thailand”
Dr Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director, Thailand National Innovation Agency, revealed, “according to the governmental policy to revolutionize the potential of 5F culture adding value to the creative economy and upgrading Thai arts including Thai Food (Food), Movie and Video (Film), Thai Fashion Design (Fashion), Thai Martial Art (Fighting), and Thai Traditional Festival (Festival); as a core business groups that strengthen other industries driven by Soft Power that many countries adopt as policy to build reputation for the country. Therefore, NIA has begun to set out guidelines to promote and support tourism revitalization with potential cultural innovations, such as creative media innovations for tourism, local food innovations, creating added value for products and services with community identities, tourism model innovations based on traditional festivals and supporting Thai martial arts, etc.”
The NIA has begun piloting in several areas, such as supporting the Entertainment Innovation or MARTech Group including music, art and recreation industries through the ecosystem development mechanism to facilitate business operations. Elevate the potential of talented people at the university in turning innovations into a real business, especially in the field of new content production, for easier funding access. Support on Food Innovation, such as from local to the city menu “Hua Pa” and an application to manage production supply chains “Pinto Roi Sai”. In addition, the NIA also has a Global FoodTech Incubator & Accelerator Program or SPACE-F to incubate and accelerate business growth in food technology among startups fostering new entrepreneurs through collaboration between businesses and education sectors. At least 33 startups from 8 countries including Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, England, Germany, France and the United States; and 4 funding projects have been successfully supported by the NIA. Furthermore, there are also new perspectives on food creations, such as the development of plant proteins (plant bases) with raw materials in Thailand and the development of new flavors, etc.
Additionally, the NIA has been supporting the development of Thai Traditional Festival Innovations and business matching between innovators and communities in different provinces to present broader perspectives and knowledge on tourism, local arts and culture in Thailand for both Thais and foreigners. The strengthening of the local brand products and services has also been supported, such as Hmong Batik, Jewelry from Nam Phi Iron from Uttaradit, Hom Ho Coffee from Mae Hong Son. As well as the support in creating Thailand tourist attractions information platform and utilizing virtual reality (VR) technology to create tourism experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Apart from utilizing innovations to add value to the 5F cultures, the NIA also aims to initiate these as an important DNA of Thai innovations. This is to create memorable and distinctive images among the competitors and inspire confidence in investors or groups of global innovation developers, where other countries have generated over hundreds of billion baht. In addition, it is an industry driven by creativity rather than resources with well-supported markets, especially in neighboring countries that still accept Thai culture such as fashion, entertainment and food, which are globally popular. This policy will be another mechanism to stimulate the revolutionization of Thailand’s tourism industry,” closed Dr Pun-Arj.