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Press Release – The 1st Thailand-Belgium Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum


Press Release

The 1st Thailand-Belgium Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum

                        The Royal Thai Embassy in Brussels, and the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (NSTI) are jointly organizing the 1st Thailand – Belgium Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum on February 23rd, 2015, at The Sukosol Hotel, in Bangkok, Thailand.

                        This forum is part of Thailand’s science diplomacy initiative. It aims at raising the country’s competitiveness, improving quality of life, and further advancing sustainable development.  Mr. Nopadol Gunavibool, Thailand’s Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, and Mr.Kitipong Promwong, Deputy Secretary General of NSTI, jointly preside over the opening ceremony and present welcoming remarks.  

                        Belgium’s strength and excellence in the field of science, technology, and innovation (STI) is key to her economic competitiveness.  Belgium’s triple helix models (i.e. cooperation among the public sector, universities, and the private sector) greatly contribute to all sorts of applications and to the commercialization of research and development. As a result, the Royal Thai Embassy, Brussels, has chosen to expand bilateral cooperation with Belgium to cover such strategic issues as science, technology and innovation which will provide win-win benefits.

                        The theme of the forum is the management of knowledge regarding STI, so as to increase Thailand’s competitiveness.  The Royal Thai Embassy and the Office of Science and Technology Attaché in Brussels invited 3 experts from the public sector as well as from KU Leuven, a leading research and development university in Belgium, to give presentations on relevant STI policy and its implementation. 

       The 3 speakers are: 1) Mr. Gerard Cielen, Research Policy Advisor to the State Secretary

of Science Policy; 2) Mr. Paul Declerck, Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at KU Leuven; and 3) Mr. Danny Pieters, Vice Rector of KU Leuven.  In addition, Mr. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will present the work plan for Thailand’s science diplomacy, the strategy for which is also being formulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NSTI.                  

                      Apart from the discussion session on February 23rd, 2015, which is open to academics, policy makers, researchers, and practitioners, there will also be a focus group dialogue in the afternoon.  This focus group aims to identify and explore potential areas of cooperation between Thailand and Belgium, such as in the areas of biomedicine, industrial biology, pharmaceutical sciences, and biotechnology.  They will also consider models of cooperation such as the exchange of experts, researchers and joint-research projects.     

                      At the final stage of the program, on February 24th – 25th, 2015, the delegates from Belgium will have an opportunity to network and exchange views with STI experts at Chiang Mai University. It is hoped that this meeting will activate further fruitful cooperation in STI between our two countries.  

                    In conclusion, this forum constitutes a pilot project for STI cooperation between Thailand and Belgium, and it will provide a platform for relevant organizations from Thailand and Belgium, in the public and private sectors, as well as appropriate universities to maximize the outcome of this series of activities and continue to work for tangible benefits in the future.

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The Royal Thai Embassy, Brussels