Frontier research is the foundation for new discovery. It is not limited to particular topics, nor subject to geographical, environmental and cultural boundaries. The essence of frontier research is the aspiration for excellence – a pursuit for new discovery, first in class, or best in class.
Frontier research has been pursued in several countries with the main objective to be at the forefront of technology and innovation. The US has long been investing in research on space, defense and security and due to the spillover effect, this research has led to numerous successful commercial technologies. The EU supports frontier research to foster innovation and build the next generation for future European economic and social development.
Though frontier research does not give an instant result, it provides a deeper understanding about a subject, increases scientific knowledge and paves the way to applied research and thus becomes essential to long-term and sustainable development. It is therefore crucial for Thailand to define a strategy for frontier research with the following strategic objectives:
- To support the development of technologies fitting to country-specific issues and settings such as human genetics, environment and culture;
- To enable Thailand to become a leader in technologies responding to global challenges and supply such technologies to the world; and
- To protect national security and enable self-reliance.
To drive this agenda forward, NXPO is currently implementing two action plans:
- Establishment of a funding program for frontier research. NXPO and a research funding unit have been working on designing flagship programs for selected areas of frontier research such as quantum computing as well as a seed funding scheme for future areas.
- Development of frontier research roadmap. NXPO in collaboration with the Thai research community is in the process of formulating roadmaps for each of the following research areas: Quantum Computing, Space Technology, High Energy Physics, Advanced Materials, Food for the Future and Advanced Medical Research.