Digital Ventures, 7 universities, Microsoft, and KX join force in national mission to promote deep tech innovations through U.REKA program

Information Technology Press Releases Tuesday April 3, 2018 15:13
Bangkok--3 Apr--Ogilvy Public Relations

In encouraging national competitiveness enhancement and innovation, Digital Ventures, the Fintech investment and development subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, today announced a new program, "U.REKA", to nurture skills and knowledge in deep technology, from upstream to downstream, through cooperation with seven leading universities, Microsoft and Knowledge Exchange (KX) in a research and development incubating program.

The key project partners are the seven leading universities with renowned engineering faculties are Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, King Mongkut Institute of Technology Lad Krabang, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi, and King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok, Thammasat University, and Chiang Mai University, The Knowledge Exchange and Microsoft Thailand.

Mr. Orapong Thien-Ngern, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Ventures Co., Ltd., said, "We have observed many challenges in the development of ecosystem for startup and innovations especially in deep technology research and development in Thailand. In other global innovation hubs, like the US, China and Japan, the enhancing ecosystem, including full supports from the private sector, the government, education institutes, entrepreneur mindset, and financial resources, is observed. This sparks an idea to create the "U.REKA" program to enhance Thailand's ability to develop innovations in the long run."

The project encourages lecturers, students, researchers and those interested in advanced technology to join force as a startup enterprise and initiate new ideas in developing deep technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Clouds and Security, Big Data / Internet of Things, Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR), and Quantum Computing, into innovations. These advanced technologies will enhance development of key industries, starting with retail, tourism / travel and financial services. These ideas will be turned into actual products and services available on the market.

The startups selected by the U.REKA program will receive full support from partners throughout the program period. Digital Ventures will provide financial support and financial product/service advices. Microsoft will provide both software technology required for the development and experts who can provide relevant advices to the participating startups. The Knowledge Exchange meanwhile provides the place with enhancing environment for startup to work and develop new technologies. Participating universities will provide knowledge and innovation from basic research to support the development of technologies and increase market opportunities, as well as recruit researchers with expertise in related advanced technologies to join the team to support innovation development.

Mr. Dhanawat Suthumpun, General Manager, Microsoft (Thailand), said, "Microsoft, as a technology leader, has been continuously supporting startup and researches. At the global level, we introduced "Microsoft for Startups" to empower startups worldwide with advanced technology. U.REKA's shared vision encouraged us to join this program. We will share our expertise and technical know-how, and marketing for solution business. A technology knowledge exchange with Microsoft Technology Center in Singapore, our regional headquarters, is forged. It is a good opportunity for Microsoft to share our resources and worldwide experience with those who will design the future of Thailand. We are excited to see the power of Thai startups and researchers in writing the new future, all made possible through our cooperation programs."

Prof. Dr. Booncharoen Sirinaovakul, CEO, The Knowledge Exchange, said, "Creating the pleasant ecosystem for innovation development is very important. The place where startups meet is crucial in bringing ideas to live. KX therefore joins this program to provide space for participating startups to work together, exchange ideas and finally bring ideas to reality."

Mr. Thien-Ngern added, "We hope this project will spark a new culture of innovation development in Thailand. We hope this culture will expand and grow in the long run. Digital Ventures and our founding partners are more than happy to welcome new partners who have shared visions and commitment to expand this program for the best benefits of Thailand in a sustainable manner."

U.REKA opens for applications for interested startups to join the IDEATION BOOTCAMP From now till 15 May 2018. For more information, click www.u-reka.co
About Digital Ventures

Founded in 2016, Digital Ventures, a subsidiary of Siam Commercial Bank, is a company that promotes innovation in financial technology. Following the bank's strategy to enter digital transformation, Digital Ventures aims to be a part in driving changes in the banking industry through investment, innovation and supporting Thai businesses to grow with SCB. At its inception, Digital Ventures has 50 million USD capital (1,750 million baht) for investment in financial technology.


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