Thailand foresaw the importance of biotechnology as a key factor for national development and Thailand’s National Biotechnology Policy Framework was formulated to support government policy, to promote national self-sufficiency and enhance the country’s global competitiveness. The six year framework (for the period 2004-2009) was developed by the National Biotechnology Policy Committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister and was formally approved by the Thai cabinet in 2003.
The six goals for the development of biotechnology in Thailand, as outlined in the National Biotechnology Policy Framework are:
Goal No. 1: Emergence and Development of New Bio-Business
Goal No. 2: Biotechnology Promotes Thailand as Kitchen of the World
Goal No. 3: Thailand Represents Healthy Community and Healthcare Center of Asia
Goal No. 4: Utilization of Biotechnology to Conserve the Environment and to Produce Clean Energy
Goal No. 5: Biotechnology as the Key Factor for Self-Sufficient Economy
Goal No. 6: Development of Qualified Human Resource
Essentially, the National Biotechnology Policy Framework will place emphasis on applying core technologies such as genomics, plant and animal breeding (by means of molecular breeding) and bioinformatics to accelerate development in the following areas: agriculture, food production, medical care and environment protection.
To achieve the goals set by the Framework requires cooperation among partners in both the public and private sectors. BIOTEC Policy Research is one unit actively studying the needs of the country related to biotechnology. The research is directed towards strategic planning and establishing future R&D direction, as well as the country’s ability to access new technologies and the implications of biotechnology on the economy, society and the environment. Examples of the project include “Feasibility Study to Increase Productivity of Sugarcane, Cassava and Oil Palm for Biofuel Production” and “Dealing with Climate Change through Science & Technology”.