As a consequence, the government created the National Innovation Agency. This agency focuses on ensuring collaboration between different important players in the innovative field in order to improve the results of innovative processes in Thailand.
The most important sectors that the agency focuses on are represented by bio business, like biotechnology, bio-based materials, and natural products, and by energy and environment, design and branding. The strategic programs developed by the agency refer to building the national innovation system, cluster grants and venture capital schemes, innovation management and entrepreneurship professional development program, and promoting an innovation culture. This reveals the country's strong interest in supporting innovation processes.
Regarding the activity of building the national innovation system, the National innovation Agency has supported the establishment of the University Business Incubator. This program must reach the objective of supporting and developments of commercial value and innovation from research and development. The principles that this program is based on are represented by inspiring, teaching, connecting, and creating. The University Business Incubator [program ensures the collaboration between important universities and institutions in Thailand.
However, there are certain problems that characterize the innovation problems in Thailand. Some of these problems are represented by the reduced opportunities of professionals in the country to access technological developments (Lorlowhakarn & Ellis, 2005). This is because the financial resources that are required to support profitable business innovation are not in accordance with these requirements. The technical resources that are necessary to technology companies are expensive for Thai companies to purchase. Therefore, some of these companies and their employees prefer to use those in countries that are more technologically developed in comparison with Thailand. In order to support companies and professionals that require access to such technological developments, the country's government has developed the Thailand Science Park and the Software Park. These programs are intended to stimulate the development of the Thai software industry that helps companies in this country to adapt to the digital requirements of the business environment.
There are numerous enterprise level innovations that are supported by the National Innovation Agency and that benefit from the collaboration between important institutions in the country in order to ensure their success. The Plaitanoids project is intended to determine the chemistry and biological properties of natural bio active products. The objectives of the Lotusia project are represented by developing alternative cosmetics with bio active ingredients from certain plants. Biodegradable plastics and their development represent another important innovation project that benefits from the support of the Thai government and that is expected to provide important revenues. Other projects include natural rubber and products, Thai shrimp traceability initiative, organic agriculture, and others.
However, when analyzing the innovation environment in Thailand it is important to take into consideration the challenges that influence this process. Such challenges are represented by the fact that the complexity of tasks involved in the production process is not in accordance with the products that are produced by Thai companies. In other words, these companies are trying to develop complex products with simple tasks. Specialists in the field consider that the sophistication of tasks is important, and not the sophistication of products.
The companies in Thailand focus on performing the dimple tasks of the product development process, like assembly, testing, and packaging. Complex tasks like research and development, design, marketing, branding, and others are performed in technologically developed countries (Sander, 2011). Therefore, experts on innovation consider that in order for Thailand to increase the value produced by innovation processes in this country it is important to have more workers performing complex tasks. This means that Thailand does not have sufficient skilled workforce able to perform such complex activities.
Another challenge of the innovation process in Thailand is represented by the research and development process (Bangkok Post, 2011). This is one of the most important factors that influence innovation. These processes are mostly important for technological developments. Therefore, Thailand must increase its research and development potential.
It is obvious that Thailand has a significant innovative potential. But there are certain issues that must be taken into consideration by companies that want to invest in the Thai innovation process. The most important issue that must be addressed by these companies is whether innovation in Thailand can be sufficiently supported in order to increase the value it must produce. The country's government understands the importance of innovation and the fact that this innovation requires the support and collaboration between authorities, different institutions in the public sector, and companies in the country.
Therefore, the Thai government is determined to support innovation processes in the country and to encourage investors from technologically develop countries. The government gas improved the infrastructure in order to create a proper business environment required by these investors. In addition to this, the Thai government has developed the National Innovation Agency that focuses on supporting a series of innovation projects. These are important arguments that recommended that companies invest in innovation projects in Thailand. However, it is important to focus on the industries that are considered to have the highest innovation potential in Thailand. These industries are represented by bio business, like biotechnology, bio-based materials, and natural products, and by energy and environment, design and branding.
Companies that want to invest in Thailand must identify the limitations that characterize the innovation activity in this country. Some of these issues are represented by the reduced access of companies and professionals in Thailand to technological developments, the reduced skilled workforce, the reduced level of education in the country that affects the success of innovation, the research and development process, the fact that companies in Thailand mostly focus on producing complex products with simple tasks, and others. These are important factors that must be taken into consideration when establishing the innovation potential of Thailand.
The reduced access of companies and professionals in Thailand to technological developments reflects their little experience with such developments. Therefore, if companies want to invest in Thailand, they must be able to transfer the know how required by their business activities. In addition to this, they must significantly invest in upgrading the Thai companies they intend to do business with. The reduced number of skilled employees represents an important barrier that affects companies that want to invest in the Thai innovation. Therefore, it is important that companies invest in the human resources involved in their activities in Thailand. This is in strong relationship with another barrier that influences the innovation process in this country and that is represented by the level of education in Thailand. Most people in this country benefit from primary and secondary education. This is because it is difficult for them to access higher levels of education because their reduced incomes. It is important that the Thai government focuses on developing strategies intended to improve the educational system in the country.
The research and development process is not sufficiently developed in Thailand, in accordance with the opinion of specialists in the field. This situation can be attributed to other innovation barriers, like the reduced access to technological developments, and the educational system in the country. The reduced complexity of tasks involved in production process in Thailand must also be improved in order to increase the value developed by innovation.
Thailand has an important innovative potential that can be addressed by companies that focus their strategies on innovation in order to create competitive advantage. The country's government is oriented towards encouraging investments by developing the Thai infrastructure, and by developing organizations that focus on supporting innovation processes. These organizations are intended to ensure the collaboration between different institutions that can support innovation. Therefore, it is important that these companies focus on strategies that help them improve their innovation process.
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4. Lorlowhakarn, S. & Ellis, W. (2005). Thailand's National Innovation Agency. CACCI Journal. Retrieved April 9, 2012.
5. Sander, F. (2011). Thailand's Innovation Challenge: Complex Products, Simple Tasks. The World Bank. Retrieved April 9, 2012 from http://blogs.worldbank.org/eastasiapacific/thailands-innovation-challenge-complex-products-simple-tasks.