National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) in collaboration with Thai Union Group PCL (Thai Union) and Mahidol University welcomed a new partner, Thai Beverage PLC (ThaiBev), to support the second year of operations. SPACE-F, the first food-tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand and South East Asia, driven by leading organizations in public and private sectors, aims to create future economic warriors who are dedicated to increasing access to better, safer and more nutritious foods, and to future-proofing the global food supply chain by engaging deep tech as a tool for sustainable businesses in this covid-19 time of crisis.
In addition, Betagro Group and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Co., Ltd. will also be joining the program to lift Bangkok from “Food Paradise” to “Bangkok Foodtech Silicon Valley”
Dr. Pun-Arj Chairatana, Executive Director, National Innovation Agency, said, “Previously, NIA partners with an Israeli investor to launch the first global acceleration program in Thailand under the name “SPARK” to accelerate high-potential Thai startups and enhance their competitiveness for global expansion. And our startups from the 2 batches successfully gain trust, reputation, and receive bigger round of investment. NIA is focusing on supporting deep-tech continuously, especially on food industry which is our country strength.
Therefore, NIA in collaborative with partners, initiate SPACE-F which focuses on setting-up 9 foodtech trends to the world – 1) health & Wellness, 2) alternative protein, 3) smart manufacturing, 4) packaging solutions, 5) novel food & ingredients, 6) biomaterials & chemicals, 7) restaurant-tech, 8) food safety & quality, and 9) smart food services.
To make this project internationalized and seamless, NIA joined hand with Board of Investment (BOI) to launch “Smart VISA” to attract Startup and technological talents in do business and invest in Thailand.”
“The purpose of implementing the Space-F project, divided into 3 areas: 1. Create more entrepreneurs in FoodTech industry because FoodTech startups and talents still under represent here. 2. Attract international startups to join the program. 3. Lift Bangkok to become “Bangkok Food Tech Silicon Valley”. Since, today Bangkok and Singapore are the only cities in Asia developing on FoodTech industry.
By doing so, we will drive Thailand to be the center of food innovation development in Asia. In addition, Covid-19 crisis is a catalyst for the rapid development of food innovation, including a change on food services, production, and distribution.
Food technology trends such as protein from insects, protein from plants, are also in-depth technologies that can add value to food. The crisis can be considered as a good opportunity for startups, since most startups model are developed from problems. If they can catch this chance, I believe that we will see a lot of new normal happening in the industry.”
Thapana Sirivadnabhakdi, President and CEO, Thai Beverage PLC, said, “SPACE-F provides a platform for established companies to share their knowledge, expertise, technology and financial support. We’re very pleased to begin working with the startups and continue to push the food and beverage industry forward.
ThaiBev has adopted UN Sustainability Goals number three, Good Health and Well-being, and 17, Partnerships for the Goals, as being particularly important to our business and SPACE-F provides a great opportunity to work with a number of other stakeholders to strengthen our commitments to these goals.”
Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO, Thai Union Group PCL, said, “This is the second year of SPACE-F and the second year of our work with the program. Naturally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread impacts on the food industry and we must adapt to a new normal. Innovation and new methods in food production are more important than ever before and we’re proud to be one of the founders of SPACE-F, and to welcome other major corporate players to join us in the next stage of growth.”
Prof. Banchong Mahaisavariya, President of Mahidol University, said, “The cross-sector collaboration between powerful private sectors with the public sectors will expedite deep-tech and innovative food-tech startups with speed and effectiveness, and it would contribute to support our ultimate objective to create Thailand’s food-tech Silicon Valley.
The inspiring SPACE-F project brings mutual benefits to all partners and well conforms to corporate strategies of Mahidol University. These emphasize Global Research and Innovation, in combination with academic and entrepreneurial education that lead to creation of a demand driven research value chain.
Thus, Mahidol University will provide access to modern research facilities and experts in various disciplines that are available for consultation to enable entrepreneurs in SPACE-F to succeed. We believe the SPACE-F program will visualize the unifying power of science and technology with business, to create successful entrepreneurs in the global food industry.
For more information, please contact National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or visit www.nia.or.th