Bold vision and clear goals are required to take a country from one stage of development to the next. Fortunately, Thailand 4.0 looks to be the “policy vision” to lift the country out of the middle-income trap and deliver Thailand over the threshold of a high-income, low inequality nation.
Innovation is the key force driving Thailand 4.0 and elevating the quality of life of all Thais is its ultimate goal. These are the exact same drivers for Bayer. Innovation is at the core of our company whose cutting edge science makes innovative products designed to provide a better life for people across the world.
Bayer Thai is excited about Thailand 4.0 as we have already partnered with the government in support of this policy. As a “Life Science” company, Bayer’s core competencies are in the areas of health care and agriculture — two of the key industries targeted for development under Thailand 4.0. Our “Science For A Better Life” philosophy focuses our healthcare research on improving people’s quality of life by preventing, alleviating and treating diseases. And our agricultural developments aim to provide a reliable supply of safe high-quality food, increase yields, and help farmers control diseases and pests.
Bayer’s more than 150 years’ experience in both fields, and its product and management innovation, will contribute to advance Thailand’s development aspirations.
Thailand 4.0 envisions transforming the country from its current reliance on heavy industries to producing its own knowledge and know-how. Using these creatively will forge a first tier value-based economy. Technology, creativity and most of all innovation are essential for this task. Thailand must build a culture of innovation by developing an entrepreneurial and creative mindset at the individual, community and institutional levels of society.
Bayer believes that to make innovation happen, one needs to have “the right culture”, which is achieved through creative behaviour, experimentation and collaboration. In today’s highly competitive business environment hard work alone will not suffice. One has to work smarter by being innovative. Everyone can. Just ask yourself: “How can I do this a little bit better?”
At Bayer people are encouraged to think different, come up with new ideas, and given time to experiment. If some of these should end in failure it is taken as part of the learning process that has to be nurtured as it is intrinsic to a culture of innovation.
It is gratifying to see that Thailand 4.0, as well as the 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan, are laying the strategy and groundwork for the next stage of development. Thailand already has a competitive advantage in some sectors such as health care and agriculture.
A case in point is its aspiration to become the medical hub of the region. The country is already well on the way to developing a health/medical tourism business. But there are still challenges to overcome before Thailand can secure the mantle of medical hub. Chief among these is innovative medicine. To attract and service both foreign and local patients, Thailand must make available innovative drugs and medical products. Access to new medicine and cutting edge treatment is essential to the policy.
In the field of agriculture, Thailand 4.0 aims to move the country from traditional to smart farming with modern technology and techniques. Farmers should not be just growers but also entrepreneurs who position and distribute their own products. This will simultaneously increase productivity and tackle income disparity.
It’s the global challenge that Bayer has been working on — feeding an ever-growing world population from scarce arable land. And through the Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA) project, Bayer is working with partners and government agencies in Thailand and neighbouring countries to improve the livelihood of rural rice farmers through the promotion of sustainable production and improved market access for their produce.
Bayer’s digital farming technology can be used to increase productivity and income in a more efficient way. The technology includes intelligent software tools that link data about weather, soil conditions and crop health to give farmers vital decision-making information. It conserves resources, safeguards harvests and protects the environment, as well as advances sustainable development and food security.
To move from a labour-intensive economy to an innovation-driven economy, science education will also play a key role. And this should start early. Thus, Bayer has recently launched the “Better Science for Better Life” project with the National Science Museum to provide school teachers with toolkits to teach their pupils science through interactive methods and fun activities.
Another venue of potential cooperation is Bayer’s Open Innovation programmes which invite partners from academic research institutes, startups and local companies to join them and drive fundamental research together. The open innovation programmes help startups validate their ideas such as novel approaches in crop protection and animal health or digital health solutions. The initiatives offer co-working facilities, mentoring, access to our R&D infrastructure and networking opportunities. Promising partnerships are already coming from these initiatives.
The key for future success is to enable an environment that is conducive to innovation and investment, and could be maintained sustainably. This holds great promise to transform Thailand into a nation that it has always been destined to become.
21 Nov 2017
JIM KENNELLY Jim Kennelly is Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer, Bayer Thai.
Credit Photo by : https://www.linkedin.com
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