Biopolis Eastern Economic Corridor of
Situated at the heart of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) in Wangchan District, Rayong Province, the Eastern Economic Corridor of Innovation (EECi) is one of ASEAN’s leading innovation hubs. It has a complete research and development infrastructure to enable support for translational research in an effort to streamline the country’s economy through bioeconomy, circular economy and green economy (BCG).
EECi houses the Biopolis compound, which is designed to offer an integrated ecosystem for innovations and business development in biotechnology. Biopolis will also foster partnerships with national and international enterprises to promote academic-to-business and business-to-business relationships.
The Biopolis complex features world-class facilities designed for industrial collaboration to overcome traditional barriers between the laboratory and commercial application. Among the many facilities is ASEAN’s first bio-refinery pilot plant. The multipurpose bio-refinery infrastructure, which is a ‘non-proprietary (generic) equipment’ platform, allows users to re-configure the equipment line-up arrangement as well as adjust process parameters to the extreme values in order to find the optimal process conditions. This unique platform allows clients to scale up and validate their laboratory scale prototype and to perform the techno-economic feasibility study before investing in a specific, dedicated industrial production line.
The infrastructure will consist of two main pilot plants – a non-GMP and a GMP facility. The non-GMP facility will serve the bio-based industry that is active in biochemicals, biomaterials and other relevant bioproducts, while the GMP facility will focus on applications in food, feed, cosmetics and neutraceuticals. Through a bio-refining process, waste will be transformed into a resource to produce high-value products. The bio-refinery pilot plant will be fully operational in 2024.
The Biopolis complex will also accommodate infrastructure, such as smart greenhouses and plant factories. Smart greenhouses feature the advanced phenomics technology that characterize the crop performance through integration of image analysis, digital technology and automation. Phenomics offers a suite of new technologies to monitor plant function in response to different environmental conditions or under controlled conditions such as a greenhouse. This will help to reduce time, space, cost and waste as the sampling employs non-invasive methods.
Plant factories comprise an indoor crop production system involving the integration of multiple technologies such as big data analytics, robotics, and lighting and water filtration which maximize plant quality and yield.
EECi is managed by the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA).