depa Hails Success of Being at Front Line in Transforming Thailand in All Aspects Through “Digital Technologies” Over Past 3 Years
The Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) announces the performance and accomplishments during the past three years under “The Premier by depa” concept, highlighting its frontline digital agency and leadership position in helping develop the country through the use of digital technologies in all aspects, such as using digital technologies and innovations for social and economic developments. Meanwhile, the multinational collaboration has been successful with continued promotions and support. The depa also reveals the development plans for 2021 and is committed to remain as the frontline digital agency to steer Thailand towards the digital economy in a sustainable way.
Dr.Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President/CEO of depa, said at the press conference on the announcement of key performance and achievements of the depa in the past three years under “The Premier by depa” concept that the depa is entering its fourth anniversary. The depa will remain committed to providing promotions and support of digital technologies and innovations to move the country forward to the digital economy. It will also remain as the frontline agency to innovate and pioneer what others have yet to operate or create.
“Through the years, the depa has continuously worked as a “team” as the agency has a strategic Think Tank team to analyze the national plans regarding the promotion and development of the digital economy. The depa has proposed legislative measures and regulatory framework in favor of creating an ecosystem for the digital economy. Meanwhile, the development strategies and mechanisms have been formulated to move the depa forward in the same direction. The depa’s outstanding initiatives include manpower development for industries in the digital era; leveraging digital technologies to enhance competitiveness of Thailand and to digitalize the Thai economy; the digitalization in communities in order to create digital society; and core infrastructure development to cater to the advent of digital innovations. Moreover, the depa has always prioritized close collaboration with network of international partners and allies. They are all under the responsibility of Dr.Kasititorn Pooparadai, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy and Management unit” the President/CEO of depa said.
However, the development of the digital economy must be carried out based on the accurate, reliable data and information, so the Government Big Data Institute (GBDi), one of agencies under the supervision of the depa, is strategically important. Currently, the Think Tank team gathers the primary data, such as conducting a survey to get firsthand data and information for use to evaluate the situation of the digital industry. Big database has been set up to show the overall picture and development trends and direction of the digital industry; the survey on quarterly industrial sentiment index; and the survey on the implementation and adoption of digital technologies in the manufacturing industry. The depa also gives priority to raising awareness about digital skills, legislation, security, advantage and disadvantage, pros and cons of digital technologies among senior citizens, people with disabilities, children and youths as well as intensifying the human capital development strategy in order to build digital personnel for the digital age.
The depa has continuously prioritized “human resource” development so as to build up “human capital” for the nation. The agency is also committed to promoting Thai youths to get access to multiple learning courses as well as enhancing new knowledge and understanding about digital skills and new skills in digital technology. This also includes launching online coding courses for which children or interested people can learn from anywhere at any time via the codingthailand.org platform, passing on the digital literacy to new graduates, unemployed workers, and those wanting to upskill and reskill themselves in order to become digital people. It is in alignment with the country’s industrial sector to build workforce with digital skills in preparation for the digital economy.
At the same time, the depa has left no one behind in digital economic and social development by providing promotions and support to “communities” as it has already provided 177 communities across the country with greater access to digital technologies and innovations. Over the years, the depa has been able to leverage local wisdom and has helped generate more than 137 million baht in income for communities through the use of digital solutions, such as smart farming technologies, smart manufacturing and processing technologies, utilizing the agricultural drones, business management applications for community enterprises, digital technologies and innovations for improving the quality of life of people, and the use of digital technologies to promote tourism. Those digital-driven development projects have been initiated in response to the digital transformation strategy to help communities move forward to digital society. All missions related to digital manpower development are overseen by Dr.Ratthasart Korrasud, Senior Executive Vice President, Digital Society and Manpower unit.
As for the strategy to elevate the economy to achieve the goal of “Digital Thailand”, the depa’s Digital Startup Institute has played a “co-investment role” in creating a perfect ecosystem for the digital economy, presenting opportunities for end users to meet digital service providers. The Digital Startup Institute also jointly invested and helped with finding the market in the public and private sectors for the digital service providers. The depa has so far provided promotions and support to 98 Thai digital startups, creating a combined economic value of over 6.8 billion baht. The depa stands ready to continue to propel the Thai digital startup firms to grow global and meet the international standard. The depa also serves as a major driving force to maximize the potential and competency of Thai digital startups as it has already accelerated the development of four Thai digital startups to reach the “Series A” level. The depa also has an ambitious plan to create Thai “UNICORN” startups in the future.
Meanwhile, the depa has developed standards for sustainability so that the end users of digital solutions such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), retailers, street vendors, merchants at fresh markets and farmers will be able to get through the digital transformation. All digital-centric mechanisms ever developed through the use of digital technologies and innovations aim to help reduce operating costs, increase productivity and generate sustainable revenue streams. It has thus far completed more than 6,407 deals of digital technology adoptions, exceeding the target set for this year at 4,000 deals. Those digital economic development projects have been looked after by Mr.Chatchai Khunpitiluck, Senior Executive Vice President, Digital Economy unit.
In addition, the depa has a special project development team, which is responsible for steering the core digital infrastructure development strategy to accommodate the digital innovations. Dr.Passakorn Prathombutr, Senior Executive Vice President, Digital Technology and Innovation Development unit, pointed out that the digital infrastructure is an integral component for the development of the nation as it draws the attention from foreign investors. Hence, the depa gears up the smart city developments in line with standardized criteria at designated provinces and locations across the country. The smart city development is in collaboration with the government agencies, including the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and companies and organizations in the private sector. It also involved public participation in designated areas in order to analyze and find the suitable digital solutions provided by digital startups prior to adapting the digital solutions to solve the root causes of the problems in a sustainable manner. In the past three years, a total of 40 cities have been declared as designated areas for smart city developments. The depa aims to develop 100 smart cities in Thailand within 2022.
The depa’s IoT and Innovation Institute also developed the Thailand Digital Valley on 30 rai of land in the Eastern Economic Corridor of Digital (EECd) or Digital Park Thailand. The Thailand Digital Valley serves as the hub for design, development, data analytics, testing ground for advanced digital technologies and innovations, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Data Science, 5G Applications, Smart Devices, High Value-Added Software, Robotics, Cloud and Digital Services. The Thailand Digital Valley also provides business matching opportunities for digital startups to partner with the global companies to steer the development of six target technologies, comprising Financial Technology (FinTech), Agricultural Technology (AgTech), Travel and Tourism Technology (Travel Tech), Health Technology (Health Tech), Educational Technology (EdTech) and Government Technology (GovTech). As a result, they will be able to commercially expand the markets both at home and abroad.
Hereafter, the depa is ambitious to transform the consumer society to digital-savvy society, where people make wise use of technological advancements for distributed benefits of society. The depa is also ready to push for collaborative efforts between organizations in the public and private sectors and educational institutions to jointly create innovations and efficient digital ecosystem. The depa’s promotions and support ever provided have served as the incentives and boosted confidence for investors and leading business operators in the digital industry. The depa expects the Thailand Digital Valley to become ASEAN Digital Hub.
The Thailand Digital Valley consists of five buildings with the combined usable areas of more than 86,000 sqm. They are the depa Digital One Stop Service Centre, the first building in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Its main construction work is completed with leasable areas fully occupied by the private sector. The Digital Startup Knowledge Exchange Centre, the second building where Her Royal Highness Princess Aditayadornkitikhun graciously presided over a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the building. The construction is currently 50% complete with 25% of leasable areas in the building occupied by private companies and digital startups. The Digital Co-creation & Innovation Centre is under the process of finding construction contractors, while the constructions of Digital Edutainment Complex and Digital Go Global Centre are slated for completion in 2023.
In 2021, the depa stands ready to push for the development in all aspects, including accelerating the digital transformation in universities in the digital era. The depa will establish the “Drone University” with an aim to encourage the public to embrace and adapt the digital technologies and innovations to advance their careers. The depa will also set up the “AI University” to promote skills, knowledge and understanding about artificial intelligence (AI) and to develop digital
manpower for the industrial sector. The depa also wants to push for a labeling scheme called “dSURE” to guarantee the functionality, safety and security of digital and IoT products. Other missions for next year include creating a Thai platform for Thai people called “National Platform for All”, making use of 5G technology to drive the development of infrastructure, pushing for the development of “Tech Hunting” and Big Data. The depa will continue the development of smart cities and the Thailand Digital Valley.
“The depa will remain at the front line in providing promotions and support to develop the country using digital technologies in line with “The Premier” concept. The depa is ready to be proactive at work to promote and support all sectors in society to be able to figure out solutions, deal with problems and get things done. It is an integral component to move Thailand forward to the digital economy with sustainability.” the President/CEO of the depa said.