Yingluck made a great deal of promises, when she became Thailand‘s prime minister. And one of them, in Parliament, was to increase funding to Research & Development (R&D) particularly in the high-tech area.
Well, it has been about a year since Yingluck has been office, and the flooding and hot Thai politics, have taken away much of her time-away from being focused on what she had promised. But last week, her cabinet approved funding for R&D in “Nano Technology.” Nano Technology is about re-engineering substances at molecular structure-with the target of achieving new materials and mechanics.
Thailand’s’ drive into “Nano Technology” started with Thaksin, and for a while, Nano Science was a very hot topic in Thailand, as Thaksin pumped massive amount of funding into it, most of it, going to Thai universities and the setting up of a Thai Nano Tech development unit. In fact, the universities, after a few years of research, was able to use Nano Tech, to improve materials, such as “Thai Silk” so it became water resistance.
However, after the 2006 Coup, that kicked out Thaksin, there was an effort to erase the memory of Thaksin from the Thai people-and thus many of Thaksin’s initiated program, went to the back-burner, getting little attention and support.
Thaksn’s Nano Tech focus, is only one example of R&D explosion in Thailand under him. He also focused on building up Thai aerospace R&D and also R&D into military area like rockets and missiles. Furthermore, concepts such as “Business Intelligence and Cloud Computing” were greatly pushed by Thaksin.
Yet, as the Thaksin example shows, here in Thailand, policy is often disrupted by politics. Yingluck’s Finance Minister, Kittirat, says Thailand will allow investments in R&D by Thai firms, to be deduct from taxable income-in a drive to help sprred up R&D in Thailand.