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Government Policy on R&D For Commercialization. Methi Wecharatana, Ph.D. Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Top innovation countries do not depend on governments to supply latest technological advances. Governments must focus on advanced technologies availability.

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government policy on r d for commercialization

Government Policy on R&D For Commercialization

Methi Wecharatana, Ph.D.

Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

motivation improve innovation barometer

Top innovation countries do not depend on governments to supply latest technological advances. Governments must focus on advanced technologies availability

Motivation: Improve Innovation Barometer

Lack of conducting formal research and pioneering new products; prefer licensing and imitating products.

Lack of public/private research institutions with ability to incubate new thinking.

Without dedication to invest in research and development.

Governments to drive innovation and ensure technologies availability within the borders.

Governments to procure advanced technology, else innovators will take ideas to other countries.

Lack sufficient regulation to protect intellectual property. Foreign firms are more likely to invest capital/staff other places.

Ability to access the latest technology quickly through fixed broadband internet subscriptions .

Marketing tools and techniques is a key factor to promote products and find a viable marketplace.

Source: GE’s Global Market Intelligence, “Innovation Barometer Global Scorecard”, January 2013.

r d outcomes in thailand how did we get it who owes it
R & D Outcomes in Thailand:How did we get it? Who owes it?

All funding is from Thai Government:

  • 6-10 years of Studies (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.)
  • Annual Salaries and Benefits
  • Research Expenses

So, should the outcome belong to the public (tax-payers), individual, or research institution?

r d policy of thai government
R&D Policy of Thai Government
  • How to transfer R&D outcomes to Thai industry for commercialization
  • How these outcomes benefit Thai industry
  • How these outcomes enhance Thai economy
r d policy of thai government1
R&D Policy of Thai Government
  • How to measure and monitor success
    • Who measures and monitors these successes
  • How to measure and monitor failure
    • Who measures and monitors these failure
  • How to measure Return of Investment
    • Investment (Tax-paid):
      • Cost to send personnel for advanced studies (10-12 million baht)
      • Salaries of personnel who do research (about 1 million per year)
      • Budget for each research project (several millions each year)
r d policy of thai government2

R&D Policy of Thai Government,

What Changes are Needed?

industry university cooperative research center iucrc

Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)

The program was first launched in 1976 and has since initiated more than 110 centers

benefits to industry
Benefits to Industry
  • Industry defines the problems and has control over project selection and funding
  • Getting solutions for existing problems
  • Innovation and new products for the industry (industry has partial ownership, so can use the innovations without paying licensing fee)
  • Low cost and high return
benefits to industry cont
Benefits to Industry (cont.)
  • No need to spend on capital equipment and hiring in-house researchers
  • Have a large team of researchers doing research for the problems
  • Newly graduates readily trained for the industry
  • For new innovation with good potential, industry often gets involved in the second phase and expands it into full-scale product development, manufacturing, and marketing
government university industry partnership
Government-University-Industry Partnership

R & D

Promote and Stimulate

Set R&D Policy and Provide Funding

technology transfer from u s government to private sector
Technology Transfer from U.S. Government to Private Sector

Examples: From DARPA (Dept. of Defense) and NASA

  • Internet and GPS

NASA Spinoff Program (

  • Top 20 new NASA Spinoff Technologies


Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (

Small Business Technology Transfer Grant

advanced technology program atp

Advanced Technology Program(ATP)

U.S. Department of Commerce

advanced technology program
Advanced Technology Program
  • In early 1980s, competitiveness in the global market of the U.S. industry began to decline
  • Japan and Germany were moving ahead in certain technological areas
  • President Reagan commissioned a task force to study the situation and make recommendation to improve U.S. competitiveness
advanced technology program1
Advanced Technology Program
  • The task force recommended to the White House to release advanced technology from NASA and U.S. Department of Defense to the U.S. Industry
  • This led to the formation of the

“Advanced Technology Program”

(under NIST, U.S. Department of Commerce)

atp criteria
ATP Criteria

RFP went out with the following criteria:

  • US DOD and NASA are to provide the U.S. industry with a list of available advanced technology
  • Any U.S. company interested to participate in the ATPAC program must invest a minimum of US$2 million for the R&D program and has a team of researchers to work on the project
  • The U.S. government through ATP program will provide a 1:1 ratio of matching fund
atp criteria cont
ATP Criteria (cont.)
  • In addition, researchers and scientists at both US-DOD and NASA would assist these companies in the R&D process leading to final products for commercialization
  • All final products, innovation, and inventions belong totally to the company
  • Only U.S. company is allowed to apply for this grant
atp criteria cont1
ATP Criteria (cont.)
  • U.S. university is not eligible to apply under ATP program, but researchers of U.S. universities can participate in the R&D programs as research contractor
  • ATP program was so successful that it has been continued for the past 30 years
photocatalytic solutions create self cleaning surfaces
Photocatalytic Solutions Create Self-Cleaning Surfaces

NASA has explored photo-catalytic technologies as a means for keeping space environments such as the International Space Station clean.

Imagine if we have a self-cleaning glass, what kind of potential markets for these products?

who should measure and monitor success and failure of thai r d program

Who should measure and monitor success and failure of Thai R&D program?

Internal: Self-assessment

External: Industry

u s science and technology policy
U.S. Science and Technology Policy
  • National Science and Technology Council (cabinet-level council)
    • Chaired by the President
    • A primary objective of the NSTC is the establishment of clear national goals for Federal science and technology investments in a broad array of areas
president s council of advisors on science and technology pcast
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST)
  • PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office of the President
  • PCAST makes policy recommendations in the many areas where understanding of science, technology, andinnovation is key to strengthening U.S. economy and forming policy that works for the American people and industry
japan and korea council for science and technology policy
Japan and Korea: Council for Science and Technology Policy
  • Japan NSTC: Chaired by the Prime Minister
  • Seven Ministers and Eight Executive Members
  • Basic Policy on Science and Technology
  • S & T budgets and allocation of Human Resources
  • Implementation and assessment
  • KOREA’s National Science and Technology Council is also chaired by the Prime Minister
japanese growth strategy cstp s perspective comprehensive sti strategy

Japanese Growth Strategy: CSTP’s perspective“Comprehensive STI Strategy”


Executive Member, Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP)

  • Under the Abe’s Administration
    • Priority
      • Economic revival, growth and wealth
    • Tools
      • Monetary policy & fiscal policy
      • Structural reforms
      • Innovation policy
    • Strategy
      • Council for S & T Policy (CSTP) ⇒ Comprehensive STI Strategy (Cabinet decision: 7 June 2013)
      • Industrial Competitiveness Council ⇒ Japan Revitalization Strategy (Cabinet decision: 14 June 2013)
r d policy of thailand
R & D Policy of Thailand

No single administrative body (council) in charge of National R & D policy of Thailand

  • Office of the Prime Minister:
    • Thailand Research Fund (TRF)
    • National Research Council (NRC)
  • Ministry of Science and Technology
    • National Science and Technology Development Agency
    • Science and Technology Institute
    • Thailand Institute for Science and Technology Research
  • Ministry of Public Health
    • Health System Research Institute
competitiveness of current s t programs of thailand
Competitiveness of Current S&T Programs of Thailand
  • Thailand’s present Science and Technology Development and Policy cannot compete with other developing countries in Asia (Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia)
  • National R & D budget is only 0.22% of GDP (much less than others)
competitiveness of current s t programs of thailand1
Competitiveness of Current S & T Programs of Thailand
  • Current R & D programs provide no significant innovation for Thai industry to compete in the global market
  • Key Government Research Agencies lack focus and priority, trying to do everything, from SME to Advanced Technology
  • Key Government Research Agency is under the same management policy for the past 30 years
obsolete human resource development policy
Obsolete Human Resource Development Policy
  • The current HRD policy is to send students to pursue graduate studies in any new advanced research area
  • A policy that needs at least six years to start any advanced research program (obsolete and not competitive)
  • Same policy has been in place for the past 50 years

Badly need a more aggressive HRD policy!

one i phone 5 costs more than a ton of rice

If we are serious about competing in the global market, it is time to understand the impact of Science and Technology and Education on economy.

One I-phone 5 costs more than a ton of rice

Innovation versus Business as Usual

what drives future economy
What drives future economy?

The U.S. National Academies:

  • “A primary driver of the future economy and concomitant creation of jobs will be “innovation”, largely derived from advances in science and engineering.”
  • “While only 4 percent of the nation’s workforce is composed of scientists and engineers, this group disproportionately creates jobs for the other 96 percent.”
what thailand needs for s t
What Thailand needs for S & T
  • Restructure Thailand’s National Science and Technology Council, to be chaired by the Prime Minister
    • Members should include ministers of all key ministries
    • Set “S & T and Education” as Priority of National Agenda
  • Establish a PMCAST ( Prime Minister’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology)
    • All members should be prominent President and CEO of key Thai Conglomerates and Industry (Industry takes lead)
    • PMCAST provides policy recommendations directly to the Prime Minister for implementation
what thailand needs for s t1
What Thailand needs for S & T
  • Restructure all research funding agencies to be under the same policy of the restructured National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)
    • Assign one research agency to focus on SME
    • Assign one research agency to focus on Advanced Technology
  • Commitment by the Government to increase national R & D budget to 1% of GDP in two years and to 2% in five years
what thailand needs for s t2
What Thailand needs for S & T
  • Take a more aggressive approach in recruiting and investing on experienced researchers from overseas (Thai or non-Thai) to jump start new advanced research programs for Thailand and Thai Industry
  • Establish the IUCRC program in selected key technology (must be led by industry): Examples: Sensor Technology; Advanced Battery Research;
  • Establish the ATP program by subsidizing and matching research investment of Thai corporations and SMEs in both domestic and overseas
key factors for growth of korea
Key Factors for Growth of Korea*

Research and Development


Venture Capitals and Technology Acquisition

*Sources: GE’s Global Market Intelligence, “Innovation Barometer Global Scorecard”, January 2013.

tapping ready made research and technology from overseas the u s
Tapping Ready-Made Research and Technology from Overseas (the U.S.)

Foreign companies tapping U.S. S & T resources and ready-made technologies:

  • European drug companies (Novartis)
  • Japanese and German automotive companies (Toyota, Nissan, VW, BMW, etc.)
  • Siemens (Germany), Canon (Japan)
  • Samsung and LG (Korea), ITRI (Taiwan), etc.

What about Thai companies having research facilities in the U.S.?

set up a thailand u s cooperative research foundation tusco
Set up a Thailand-U.S. Cooperative Research Foundation (TUSCO)
  • Following Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, European countries, and Japan, tapping ready-made and experienced researchers in the U.S. to assist in the R & D programs of Thailand
  • Establish TUSCO, as a research arm of Thailand, to formulate linkage and collaboration in S & T between Thailand and the U.S. with primary focus on:
    • Research and Development
    • Human Resource Training
    • Technology Acquisition
set up tusco
Set up TUSCO
  • TUSCO Mandate:
    • Develop joint research programs between Thailand and the U.S. (research to be jointly carried out by experienced U.S. researchers and Thai researchers)
    • Formulate educational partnerships (joint Ph.D. programs) and collaborative training and research programs for human resource development (similar to program for Vietnam)
    • In search of U.S. technology for Thai industry

R & D

Products and Productivity


Goal: Strengthening the Economy

innovation clusters
Innovation Clusters

World’s success Innovation Companies:

  • Ideas before Money and Buildings?
  • Money and Buildings before Ideas?
industry university cooperative research center iucrc1
Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)
  • Presently, there are 56 IUCRCs working with 170 universities and 1100 member organizations
  • Basic Requirements for an IUCRC Center:
    • Proposed research must be of interest to the Industry
    • Cost share by the industry
    • Must have at least 10 industrial partners
    • Must have a strong group of research universities and researchers in the consortium
selected iucrc centers
Selected IUCRC Centers
  • Advanced Processing and Packaging Studies (CAPPS)The Ohio State University , UC Davis, North Carolina State University
  • Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC) University of California Berkeley , University of California Davis
  • Cooling Technologies Research Center (CTRC)Purdue University
  • Membrane Science, Engineering and Technology Center (MAST) The New Jersey Institute of Technology , University of Colorado
  • Composites Center (WBC)Virginia Tech , Oregon State University
industry university cooperative research center iucrc2
Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)
  • Normal life of an IUCRC: 10-12 years
  • Capital investment for building, labs, and research facilities are provided by federal, state, and the lead university
  • Matching fund from industry is in the form of donation for major lab equipment and facilities
  • PIs from the lead university put together the team of qualified researchers from partner universities and research institutes
industry university cooperative research center iucrc role of industry
Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) -Role of Industry
  • Provide annual membership fee of approximately US$40,000-50,000 per year (in 1985)
  • The total fund from membership fee is used as “research budget”
  • All industrial members serve in Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), making decision on project selection and funding
  • Industrial members provide research problems (Not Professors)
industry university cooperative research center iucrc3
Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC)
  • Researchers from partner universities submit ideas and proposals competing on a specific problem
  • IAB reviews and select projects for funding based on quality and competitive process (not institution)
  • Outcomes and innovation from projects are jointly owned by the researchers and all industrial partners

Financial Support:

Seed Funding and Membership Fee

Full-scale product manufacturing

IUCRC for a Specific Industrial Interest

hazardous substance management research center iucrc
Hazardous Substance Management Research Center (IUCRC)

Six Technical Divisions encompassing all possible solutions for hazardous waste management:

  • Chemical and Biological Treatment
  • Physical Treatment
  • Incineration
  • Site Assessment and Remediation
  • Health Effect Assessment and Remediation
  • Public Policy and Education