On 20 April 2016, BIOTEC celebrated the opening of Food and Feed Innovation Center. Presiding over this auspicious occasion was Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Science and Technology.
Thailand’s food export values reached 1 trillion Baht in 2014, accounting for 9% of its GDP. The country is the 14th largest food exporter in the world. To maintain the competitiveness of the food industry, science, technology and innovation are imperative. Food and Feed Innovation Center was established in order to collaborate with the food and feed industries to develop innovation which can create novel products or make improvement in the production process, with the ultimate goal of enhance Thailand’s strengths and competitiveness in food and feed industries.
“Ministry of Science and Technology has been tasked to implement the Food Innopolis, listed in the Government’s Super-Cluster initiative. The Super-Cluster initiative is designed to link Thailand’s industry cluster assets and strengthen the clusters by adding mission critical elements that help businesses become more efficient and competitive. Our plan will integrate research, academic, and public-private assets into core industry cluster ecosystems, as well as adding support in areas of workforce development, infrastructure, logistics, and technology. We aims to attract world-class food companies to set up their base in Thailand, as well as bringing in start-ups, SMEs and leading companies in Thailand to join and complete the value chain. The establishment of Food and Feed Innovation Center will certainly play a vital role in Food Innopolis,” said Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj in his inauguration remark.
BIOTEC has been engaged in employing biotechnology to create values, develop novel products and improve production process in food and feed sector for decades. “We have developed core competencies in major technologies that can be used as a foundation to provide smart solutions to our industrial clients. Such technologies include the screening for functional microorganisms, fermentation technology and bioprocess engineering, food chemistry and nutrigenomics,” added Dr. Kanyawim Kirtikara, BIOTEC Executive Director.
Food and Feed Innovation Center occupies vast laboratory space of 900 sq.m. in the Innovation Cluster II building at Thailand Science Park. The laboratory is fully equipped with advanced instrument necessary to perform cutting-edge research to create innovation. Another important feature is the pilot-scale production infrastructure to assess the feasibility of the technology, ensuring smooth transition from lab-scale to industrial scale. This pilot-scale production infrastructure is installed at a 1,200 sq.m. facility, completed with a 300L submerged fermentor and a 500kg solid state fermentor, connected with various downstream processes. “Over 50 million Baht has been invested to this state-of-the-art research and pilot production infrastructure. Our research team now consists of 50 staff with various expertise. We also form a strong network with researchers in the academic sector, as well as overseas partners to tap on the expertise not available in our research team,” said Dr. Wonnop Visessanguan, Director of Food Biotechnology Research Unit of BIOTEC, a team leader of the Food and Feed Innovation Center.
With the fully-equipped facilities and expertise in production, processing, Food and Feed Innovation Center will be a major driving force in providing viable, forward- and global-looking solutions for Thai food and feed industries.
Posted on 22 April 2016.