At the meeting held on 22 December 2020, the cabinet has approved the draft Thai Bayh Dole Act and further suggested that the draft bill be considered according to the national reform plans and procedures, particularly under the economic reform section. Following the cabinet approval, the draft act will proceed to the joint committee comprising members of the House of Representatives and the Senate for the approval, after which it will take effect. Prior to the review by the cabinet, the draft Thai Bayh Dole Act was approved by the Council of State and went through the public hearing process.
The Thai Bayh Dole Act has been proposed by NXPO on behalf of Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI). The Act grants ownership of inventions made with government funding to inventors – mostly universities and research institutes, thus providing the power to manage their IPs and the freedom to negotiate licensing terms that would best encourage the commercialization of technology. The Act also includes the profit-sharing principle which will gives incentive researchers and guidelines for the government to issue compulsory licenses in case of national emergencies.
By unlocking all the inventions and discoveries made from public research funds, the Thai Bayh–Dole Act is expected to create many more spin-offs and start-ups to drive an innovation-driven economy, encourage inventors to develop novel products or services to meet market demand and invigorate the country’s overall economy.