Microsoft and the National Science and Technology Development Agency are joining hands to open a Microsoft Innovation Centre in Bangkok. The center will assist tech start-ups under Thailand’s digital economy policy.
The goal is to help entrepreneurs develop their innovation and digital skills. The center will also help support local businesses and students through information technology.
Pichet Durongkaveroj, the Science and Technology Minister, says that technology is expected to contribute to Thailand’s economic growth and will enhance the country’s competitiveness.
The center will not be the first for Microsoft. Just seven years ago, the NSTDA and Microsoft established an innovation center at Rangsit University on Sathorn Thani Road. During this time, the center helped create 50 tech start-ups.
The new re-launched center will be housed at the NSTDA central facility in Bangkok. The innovation center is one of 113 for Microsoft in 37 different countries.
The NSTDA has an ambitious goal of creating 200 tech start-ups per year, while Microsoft is aiming for 100. Tech start-ups only have a survival rate of 20-30%, so the center is looking to create as many as possible. The Thailand Tech Startup Association is anticipating 500 start-ups by the end of 2015.
Entrepreneurs will be given access to Microsoft software, training from experts, cloud computing, mentoring and internships. The center will also help match entrepreneurs with venture capital firms and the global market.
The president of NSTDA stated that the partnership would establish an ecosystem in Thailand and help strengthen both innovation and IT in the country. He also stated that a digital-driven economy could pull Thai citizens out of the middle-income trap. Thailand’s digital economy policy is expected to drive growth in the ICT sector. Spending in ICT will grow by 10.5% in 2015. The government is also considering changes to regulations that would allow domestic tech-firms to enter the public sector.