When people think of Thailand, they think about beaches, temples, elephants, and (really good) food – basically all the reasons the over 35 million tourists were drawn to the country in 2017.
But there is another distinction that Thailand is aiming for and that is to be a global hub for digital innovation.
In 2016, the Thailand government unveiled a new policy that aims to transform the country’s economy. Called Thailand 4.0, the policy has three main goals: to elevate Thailand into a high-income nation, reduce inequality, and promote environmentally sustainable growth and development.
Achieving these goals, however complicated, can be summed up in one simple idea: Thailand must create innovations to transition from being industry-driven to becoming technology-driven.
This means that traditional industries such as agriculture and healthcare should begin embracing modern tech, and that SMEs should begin transforming into smart enterprises. Thailand 4.0 can only be successful, however, if all sectors – private and public – are engaged.
It is daunting task, given the massive number of players to be accounted for, but a task that True Digital Park is designed to undertake.
Smart, mixed-used development
For the first time in Thailand, the entire startup ecosystem will gather under one roof. True Digital Park brings together all the key components: startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, accelerators, incubators, investors, academies, and government.
Housed in a 77 thousand square meter centre in the heart of Bangkok, True Digital Park features an innovation area, a commercial area, and a residential area. Within the innovation area are four fully integrated spaces for co-working, the Enterprise Space, the Innovation Space, and space for events and business services.
The 11 thousand square metre Co-working Space is designed for working, learning, and innovating, and will be open to entrepreneurs and startup teams. It can accommodate up to a thousand people.
Their Innovation Space consists of three sections: the Experience Centres/Open Labs, which are powered by global tech players; the Makerspace, which is equipped with top-notch tech and prototyping tools for both hardware and software; and the Academy, which is a zone specifically for workshops and courses.
The goal of the Innovation Space is to provide facilities that would enable innovators, whether professionals or students, to develop their skills and bring their ideas to life.
This is also supported by programmes that True Digital Park would run for the different members of its ecosystem. For example, startups will have access to acceleration programmes, exchange programmes, and competitions. Corporations will also have programmes specific to their needs, and all the while year-round events and activities such as seminars, workshops, and networking events will be held.
Their Enterprise Space, on the other hand, offers a Grade-A office building built specifically for tech companies and mature startups. It has all the necessary business infrastructure that companies need, including a service to streamline government-related processes and Thailand’s fastest internet connectivity. There are also lifestyle facilities to promote holistic well-being, and other perks and activities.
One roof, all possibilities
But more than just a space, True Digital Park aims to promote collaboration between various key players to enhance the competitiveness of startups to innovate.
The idea is to make True Digital Park the Digital Hub of Thailand by gathering individuals – both local and international – into one space to create a fusion of knowledge that would help accelerate digital innovation.
According to Thanasorn Jaidee, President of True Digital Park, “the transfer of knowledge and innovations will contribute to further developments, strengthen the country’s talented human resources to become even more competitive, and serve as the foundation of growth for the digital economy.”
The community of True Digital Park will be built on six key components: startups and entrepreneur, tech companies, incubators / accelerators / academies, investors and VCs, government agencies, and support services.
All six components have unique and significant roles and contributions to the ecosystem, which will build a stronger foundation for achieving innovation goals.
Global hub for digital innovation
The core principle behind True Digital Park, Thanasorn says, is Open Innovation. They are committed to supporting the government’s Thailand 4.0 policy of integrating the public and private sectors and position Thailand on the map as global hub for digital innovation.
Thailand, in many ways, can already be considered a digital nation. With a digital-savvy and mobile-first population, the second largest economy in southeast Asia, a clear national roadmap toward digitalisation, and a robust startup ecosystem, the country is poised to break out as the next innovation centre.
It may only be a matter of getting the key players to collaborate and support each other, just as True Digital Park is aiming to do.
“The transfer of knowledge and innovations will contribute to further developments, strengthen the country’s talented human resources to become more competitive, and serve as the foundation of growth for the digital economy. All these represent the development, empowerment, and transformation of Thailand into a Digital Hub at the heart of the regional digital economy.”
For more information, visit www.truedigitalpark.com
Disclosure: This article was produced by the e27 content marketing team, sponsored by True Digital Park