WeWork Labs has announced that it has launched SPACE-F, a foodtech startup incubator and accelerator in Thailand, in partnership with the National Innovation Agency (NIA), SET-listed Thai Union Group PCL, and Mahidol University’s Science Faculty.

SPACE-F is aimed at building a sustainable ecosystem to nurture foodtech startups in Thailand. It claims to be the first such initiative in the country and plans to provide services and support to empower the next generation of innovation in food tech.

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The program will have two tracks: the Incubator track for initial-stage startups; and Accelerator track for growth stage startups (for both Thai and non-Thai nationals). It will accept applications until 31 July 2019.

Eligible applicant startups must propose innovation in one of the following areas: health and wellness; alternative proteins; smart manufacturing; packaging solution; novel food and ingredients; biomaterial and chemical; restaurant tech; food safety and quality; and smart food services.

The SPACE- F program will run for up to 15 months for Incubator and three to eight months for Accelerator. Its non-equity model allows founders to have full ownership of their ideas and products, and at the end of the program, founders will have opportunities to meet qualified investors including Thai Union Group PCL and other VCs and corporate VCs.

SPACE-F will be located at Mahidol University’s Faculty of Science and provides downtown lab access to high-tech machinery and instrumentation to facilitate the research and development of ideas.

“The time is ripe for foodtech advancements, and along with the perfect partners for this program, we are excited to select Thailand as the first stop to launch our partnered Food Labs program and help bring to life some of today’s brightest ideas right here in Thailand,” said Adrian Tan, Head of Labs, Southeast Asia for WeWork.

WeWork Labs recently debuted its Food Labs program, which is its first innovation space dedicated to powering the future of food and aims to support growing startups by bringing together entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investors to build a community to address the biggest challenges facing the global food industry.

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As a bid to drive innovation and economic growth within the kingdom, startups attending the SPACE-F program can also apply for the SMART Visa program from the Thai government which provides numerous privileges to help attract skilled manpower.