The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or NIA under the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation launches the “INNOVATION THAILAND EXPO 2019” event, starting from 3 – 5 October 2019 at SamYan MitrTown under the concept of “Social Innovation in The City” for the first time with the collection of top innovations that help improve the quality of life for communities and the environment. The event also includes innovations that answer social problems in various dimensions.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Weerapong Paesuwan, Chairman of the National Innovation Committee, said that “the establishment of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation from a government policy was to meet the important needs of the 21st century in laying the foundation of the country towards the future, including preparing Thai people towards the 21st century for their well–being, a better quality of life, a good environment and full people’s empowerment. The Ministry has focused on creating and developing people to be the “country’s Smart Citizens“, building and developing knowledge for “the country to have an economy that emphasizes value“, including the creation and development of innovations for us to become an “Innovation Nation“, responding to national reform which not only gives importance to creating economic prosperity only but also gives importance to the inequality reduction. The development that is concentrated in society requires “Social Innovations” as an important driver in creating innovations that create value to society, communities, and the environment in all sectors. Through sharing and accessing to resources, knowledge, capital, and government services, the Ministry is currently working to create “1,000 community innovations” with the Village Innovation Project for the society to participate in as well
As for the NIA – it is an organization that plays an important role in driving the country’s innovation system through mechanisms and coordination among all sectors in order to create both economic and social innovations. The NIA has, hitherto, focused on promoting and developing “Innovations for society” continuously, which has operations covering both creating innovative businesses and creating social innovation networks as well as driving projects with high social impact together with networks in many areas. An example is the “Innovative Social Village Project” focusing on solving problems from communities in the target area. The “innovation project for cities and communities” can be pushed to practical use to solve problems in the society, cities and communities, including “the development of the social business branch” that creates social innovation capabilities and reducing inequality, including creating innovative businesses and “creating social innovation networks” that demonstrate social responsibility creatively between communities. Social entrepreneurs research agencies, both public and private, have organized the Innovation Thailand Expo 2019 under the concept of “Social Innovation in the City” this year as an important platform to present a view of the current occurrence of urban society and the expansion of cities in various areas by bringing social innovations to help reduce the disparity of people in the city and improving the quality of life in both the “income generation and creation of good health leading to sustainable happiness.”
Dr. Pan–art Chairat, Director of the National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) added: “The INNOVATION THAILAND EXPO 2019 or ITE 2019 is the first time to present “Innovation for society“, which is one of the important options that will help reduce the inequality of the people in the city. The sustainable quality of life improvement consists of 3 main points, namely income generation – social innovation that helps to generate income, create careers, reduce disparity in society; health promotion – innovation for society that helps promote good health, make the society have better quality of life; and happiness creation – innovation for society that helps achieve happiness in living in urban society, creating a pleasant environment.”
There are many interesting activities in the event, including both the exhibition and sale of innovative products created for a diverse society, community and environment. This single event responds to the way of life of everyone in the society, from children, working people, the elderly, the disabled, to the disadvantaged. The Social Innovation Forum at the event helps to transfer knowledge and innovation from experts under 3 topics, which are 1) case studies of innovation development for society from leading educational institutions and companies in the country; 2) innovations for society with problem solving in many dimensions and creating change in society; and 3) the trend of Thai innovations towards society in the future including robotics, designs and media.
“There is also a workshop activity from entrepreneurs who are supported to develop social innovations, such as watching movies for the visually impaired, which provide opportunities for both the blind and the general public; teaching solar cell assembly in an easy way for the community; teaching how to grow vegetables in the middle of town for city people; teaching Dharma with digital art “Bodhi Theater“. Other activities include health promotion, such as bending the body by the underprivileged and teaching yoga for the elderly as well as activities for children / pupils / students, such as basic programming and preparing to land a job in the future. On the last day of the event (5 October), which is considered The National Innovation Day, there will be a ceremony to announce the results and give the Innovation Awards to outstanding innovators in various categories, including the National Innovation Award (Economics, Society, Media Design, Outstanding Innovation Organization), Thailand Innovation Award, UAV Startup Award, Innovation Business Plan Award, and the Thai Rice Innovation Award”, Dr. Pan–art said.
Those interested can find the perspectives on “Social Innovation“, which can generate income, promote health and happiness for society, community, environment at www.innovationthailand.org/ite2019 or www.facebook.com/NIAThailand