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Survey says more R&D funding needed

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook has reported that Thailand's science and technology competitiveness ranks 33rd among 55 countries as judged by four main criteria - economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure.

Published on October 30, 2007

Economic performance includes the domestic economy, international trade, international investment and employment. Government efficiency is public finance, fiscal policy, the institutional framework, business legislation and the social framework. Business efficiency includes productivity, the labour market, finance, management practices and attitudes and values. Infrastructure includes basic infrastructure, technological infrastructure, science infrastructure, health and environment as well as education.

The survey indicated that Thailand should make a huge investment in research and development infrastructure since the country ranked 48th in this area.

"Scientific infrastructure and technological infrastructure are low points for the country to create competitiveness since they are important to develop the potential of the country," said Yada Mukdapitak, deputy director of the Technology Management Centre.

She said that therefore the country should have strategies to create competitiveness including increased R&D expenditure, especially in the private sector, and to increase the quality and quantity of manpower in science and technology through links between the industrial sector, research institutes and universities.

Others strategies included creating awareness of science and technology among young people by staging interesting activities such as intensive science camps. The country should also seek to have more patents granted and support researchers, both in private and academic sectors, to increase innovative work.

There should also be an increase in the number of scientific and technological reports published both locally and internationally.

"Thailand is moving to a knowledge-based economy, so society, innovation, science and technology are important to create competitiveness for the country," said Yada.

Jirapan Boonnoon

 The Nation

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