Thai Union invests in pilot plant for research and development

Thai Union has invested THB 200 million (USD 5.7 million, EUR 5 million) to expand the Global Innovation Incubator (Gii) at Mahidol University of Thailand in Bangkok. The move will expand the seafood giant’s research and development capacities.

The announcement, made 31 March, involved Thai Union executives and high-ranking Thai officials and was paired with the signing of a memorandum-of-understanding between Thai Union and Mahidol University, King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi and Kasetsart University that will create food research programs at the three schools. The programs will be funded by THB 30 to 50 million (USD 854,000 to 1.4 million, EUR 750,000 to 1.25 million) in annual grants from Thai Union.

“The Gii is core business strategy,” Thai Union President and CEO Thiraphong Chansiri said. “We believe that innovation will contribute to our business growth and help us achieve our USD 8 billion (EUR 7.03 billion) target by 2020. Innovation will further our competitiveness, differentiation and capacity in the world food industry.”

The Gii will seek to develop innovative, sustainable and value-added seafood products as well as new, more environmentally-conscious processing technologies. Thai Union officials added that the program will help its human resource development efforts by developing qualified potential future employees with high-level degrees.

“Mahidol University is renowned for the advancement of research and development in science and technology, including collaboration for innovation with the private sector,” Associate Professor Sittiwat Lertsiri, dean of the biotechnology department and associate professor of Mahidol University’s faculty of science, said. “R&D and innovation are essential to the quality of life, food security, job creation, economy, society and competitiveness of the country. To achieve that, there needs to be model to foster the exchange of information and knowledge amongst a pool of researchers domestic and overseas. To actualize this, we need recruitment mechanism and human resource development to find and allocate the most capable and suitable scientists.”


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