Thai-British cooperation under Newton Fund is successful in its first year

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BANGKOK, 10 September 2015 – British Ambassador to Thailand Mark Kent and Minister of Science and Technology Pichet Durongkaveroj jointly announced the success of Newton UK-Thailand Research and Innovation Partnership Fund (Newton Fund) on the occasion of the first anniversary of this British-Thai cooperation.

During the first year of the fund, there are five hundred personnel in the scientific and technological sectors trained under four programs namely the joint research for national strategic planning in healthcare, Leaders in Innovation Fellowships (LIF), PhD and Students Exchange Programs as well as Researching and Innovation Management.

Minister Pichet said that the cooperation has greatly developed personnel working in science and technology. Around seven percent of the PhD graduates nationwide are currently working in the private sector.

Both sides have agreed to increase fund allowances from 82.5 million baht in the first year to 422.5 million baht in the second year. The money will be spent on ten projects involving enhancement of personnel efficiency, research development and practical application of research outcomes. The personnel and research to be developed will be mainly in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, energy, environment and natural resources, which are the sectors most plaqued by shortages of personnel in Thailand.

The Minister added Thailand would improve the system of cooperation with foreign countries in hope of increasing the proportion of capital investment in research, scientific and technological development to 1% of the country’s GDP.