The Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation Policy and Strategy (2020-2027) has been formulated taking into account government reform and the domestic and international current situations. The 2020-2027 Policy and Strategy consists of four platforms, each incorporating programs to drive forward the implementation process. These four platforms are: 1) manpower and knowledge development; 2) research, development and innovation for grand challenges; 3) research, development and innovation for competitiveness; and 4) research and development for area-based development and inclusiveness.
Platform 1: Manpower and Knowledge Development
- National Brain Power Ecosystem. This program aims at establishing a system to produce quality manpower for the national development, especially for careers in research and innovation such as researchers, scientists, engineers, technology managers and specialists in specific fields. Measures and systems are to be developed to address incentive programs (salary and benefit), career path, talent attraction and retention, public-private collaborative training programs (such as work-integrated learning), demand creation for research professionals (such as postdoctoral and postgraduate research systems), attraction of highly-skilled workforce from overseas and Thai professionals living abroad, and academia-research-industry brain circulation.
- Highly Skilled Workforce for Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) and New Growth Engines. This program focuses on designing measures and mechanisms to develop the workforce, encompassing graduates from vocational schools and universities from bachelor’s to doctoral levels, to supply to industries located in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), as well as first and new S-curve industries. Such mechanisms and schemes include the development of databases and plans of industrial demand for talent, training and R&D consortium, work-integrated learning, talent mobility, cooperative education, experimental sandbox for education and innovation, and recruitment of talent for companies wishing to embark on R&D.
- Lifelong Learning and Future Skills Set. This program aims at improving knowledge, skills and competencies of the current and future workforce to meet the demand of industry that is continually faced with technological disruptions. The program covers formal, informal and non-formal education, upskilling and reskilling training, massive open online courses, National Credit Bank System, nanodegree programs, grants for lifelong learning training and a database for skill development and management.
Platform 2: Research, Development and Innovation for Grand Challenges
- Resources, Environment and Agriculture. This program aims at finding solutions to challenges Thailand is facing which include resource depletion, environmental degradation, water shortage, water and air pollution, and plastic wastes. Instruments will be developed to address renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate resilient technologies, circular economy and smart farming technology.
- Aging Society. This program focuses on developing technologies and the environment to enhance the quality of life of the elderly. It ranges from developing assistive technologies based on combining together disciplines such as robotics, AI and digital technology, to creating a Universal Design City, promoting silver economy and closing cultural generation gap.
- Quality of Life and Security. This program aims to address social inequality and social discord by developing innovative solutions to improve social security of Thai people, promote social reconciliation, embrace diversity in race, religious beliefs and political beliefs, and engage people and communities in political thought.
- AI for All. This program aims at developing human capital and awareness in artificial intelligence (AI) at all levels – from children to educators – in order to develop a workforce with AI and machine learning skills as the country is transitioning from a digital era to an AI era. AI research and development will also be promoted with application in the industrial sector.
- Frontier Research. Frontier research program aims at creating fundamental advancement beyond frontier of knowledge in a pursuit for new discovery, first in class, or best in class.
- Big Science. This program aims at establishing large-scale instruments and facilities in which advanced research is conducted. Big science is essential for enhancing competitiveness, creating sustainable economic development and prosperity, and fostering national and international scientific collaboration.
Platform 3: Research, Development and Innovation for Competitiveness
- RDI for New Economy. This program aims at enhancing competitiveness of the manufacturing and service industries to catch up with the global economic trends by developing platforms to facilitate new economic models such as bio-circular-green (BCG) economy, creative economy, AI & data economy and sharing economy. Such platforms include innovation development for agricultural and industrial sectors, entrepreneur development and technology localization.
- Startup, IDEs and Innovation Ecosystem. This program aims at developing startups and innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs) by reviewing and amending laws and regulations and introducing new incentives to facilitate ease of doing innovation business, implementing business acceleration programs, as well as supporting economic zones of innovation such as science parks, Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi), Food Innopolis, Innovation District and Creative District.
- National Quality Infrastructure and Services. This program aims at building and consolidating capacity in standardization, including conformity assessment services, metrology, and accreditation in order to encourage industrial development, reduce barriers to trade and entrepreneurship, and facilitate global technical cooperation.
Platform 4: Research and Development for Area-based Development and Inclusiveness
- Local Economy and Innovative Community. This program focuses on creating a culture of innovation among people at the community level, so that innovation can be utilized as an approach for economic and social development within the community, including job creation, product development and natural resource management.
- Poverty Eradication. This program will employ big data to enhance the accuracy of poverty mapping so that appropriate measures and social welfare programs can be designed.
- Smart/Livable City. This program aims to find solutions to migration and social inequality by developing smart/livable cities in all four regions of Thailand, budgeting system to support local administration and decentralization, and building capacity of local government organizations.
In addition to four platforms, the policy also includes the system reform of higher education, science, research and innovation which has one program:
- Reinventing Universities & Research Institutes. This program includes system reform of higher education, science, research and innovation; management reform of higher education institutions; designing monitoring and evaluation systems; and development of entrepreneurial universities, for instance.