It is widely recognized at present that innovation is a critical driving force for a knowledge-based economy. Innovation is a key factor in sustaining the country’s progress in the face of rapid global changes. Innovation and invention will help the production sector and open new frontiers, whether in the form of products, services or markets. These emerging opportunities will create new business and drive sustainable growth and long term prosperity for Thailand’s economic and social systems.
Thus, it is crucial for Thailand to anticipate these trends and linkages and formulate appropriate innovation development strategies. Since its inception in 2003, the National Innovation Agency (NIA) has strived to raise public awareness and understanding of innovation, and implemented a variety of projects in collaboration with other organizations, including educational institutions, research institutes, financial institutions and the beneficiary industries, to create a robust “national innovation ecosystem” in Thailand.
To a certain extent, the fact that NIA has provided support and stimulated Thai entrepreneurs to be innovative may be regarded as a national achievement. Nevertheless, it is clear that the country faces an urgent need to innovate on a much broader scale. This is due in particular to the fast-changing dynamics of global competition, and the transition of economies from labour-intensive to knowledge/innovation-intensive modalities. Thus, NIA must continually anticipate new trends and challenges in its mission to build up the country’s national competitiveness.