Commercialisation opportunities with Thailand
Commercialisation projects and systems developed by Auckland UniServices Ltd are being embedded in a top Thai research university under a memorandum of understanding signed this month.
This strengthened collaboration presents an exciting opportunity for our CARES team in relation to our innovative robot and automation technologies.
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) in Bangkok is one of Thailand’s nine research universities. It has a strong focus on engineering, industry, science, biosciences and technology, field robotics and information technology.
UniServices will work with KCE, a private company set up by KMUTT, its innovation development foundation and private companies in an operating structure similar to the highly successful UniServices model.
“Our top exports to Thailand are based on our primary industries – milk powder, butter and dairy spreads, buttermilk. This memorandum is the bridgehead to developing a higher value relationship with a country of nearly 69 million people,” says Dr Lisbeth Jacobs, General Manager International at UniServices.
“UniServices is taking the first steps to elevate the New Zealand-Thailand relationship beyond pure trade towards collaborative projects sharing intellectual and technological expertise. This approach will benefit both countries, and also help Thailand accelerate its own commercialisation strategies.”
Dr Jacobs says this bridgehead has the potential to open up access to the Thai consumer market and the 625 million people living in the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries.
“We are starting to see promising growth in sectors such as education, health, high value manufacturing and IT, and believe that our capabilities complement Thailand’s desire to move up the value chain perfectly, and KMUTT and KCE, given their drive and innovative spirit are ideal partners to work with in realising the potential.”
Thailand is the 30th largest economy in the world and New Zealand’s 10th largest trading partner with the two-way trade in goods topping $2.6billion. It occupies a strategic position in mainland south-east Asia and has a strong leadership role in ASEAN (Association of South Eastern Asian Nations). Thailand is the second largest ASEAN economy and the fourth richest.
Dr Jacobs emphasises that the benefits are not one-way.
“We have complementary economies, particularly around agriculture, and work cooperatively on environmental issues. UniServices can offer Thailand the expertise from our world-class strengths in innovation, research and commercialisation.
“In return, we can learn from Thailand, particularly when it comes to accessing the vast ASEAN markets. Thailand also offers us a growing economic influence in a market more reachable than those of the northern hemisphere.”
The signing of the memorandum is particularly important for both governments, taking place in the 60th year since New Zealand-Thailand diplomatic relations began.