TCEB joins pact with affiliates, spotlighting innovations and startup ideas

TCEB joins hands with NIA, depa, NSTDA and GISTDA to hold the “Thailand’s MICE Startup” to herald a new dimension of MICE business development through innovation competition project.

This article was originally found on TCEB.

Mr. Chiruit Isarangkun Na Ayuthaya, President, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (Public Organization) or TCEB, disclosed that the digital strategy is considered one of key mechanisms for national development, according to the 20-year national strategy, which expects to drive Thailand towards stability, wealth and sustainability, both in terms of economy and society. TCEB has cultivated the vision that correlates with the government’s policy directing at 3 major goals, which are generation of revenue, innovations for national development and building prosperity with income distribution.

“Annually, Thailand’s MICE market average growth rate is 5-10%, but with innovative and technological tools, TCEB expects that Thai MICE can achieve up to 20% growth each year. TCEB foresees opportunities through networking with strong affiliates, which in turn will help to increase MICE awareness among startups or other business segments. Furthermore, MICE will be a profitable platform for all businesses, and also the cycle of MICE business development can be widened and strengthened. This way, new business opportunities will be urged, whereas knowledge in MICE will be exchanged to improve MICE events. Eventually, Thai MICE can compete with international MICE in a sustainable way.

Having initiated the “Thailand’s MICE Startup” in line with the 3-year strategy orienting at utilising efficient innovations and digital technologies with MICE events, the project has received support from the National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or NIA, the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) and The National Science and Technology Development Agency or NSTDA to build the business development arena. The project aspires to share knowledge and enhances understanding in MICE businesses with innovation networks of both public and private sectors by creating the sphere for activities and innovative MICE events. Through this platform, entrepreneurs, designers and developers are welcomed to merge their ideas for the advancement of MICE industry and startups to increase the value of economy and to bolster the competitiveness of Thailand.

The “Thailand’s MICE Startup” kicked off in May 2019 with the total of 47 teams of competitors from Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, United Kingdom, the Philippines, the Czech Republic, India, etc. Basing on the presentation of innovative ideas that lead to the betterment of environment, artificial intelligence, customer services, logistics and MICE user experience improvement, 12 teams with qualifiable performance will be selected. Judging criteria includes unique innovation, social and environmental impacts, business model with stable financial sustainability, the inventor’s responsibility to participate in the project’s activities, teamworking and value addition.

The 12 qualified teams will present their technological solutions designed for MICE towards the committee in the final round on 4 July 2019, which seeks the 3 finalist teams to join the “Thailand's MICE Startup Accelerator”. With the collaboration with ImpacTech (Thailand), the 3 best teams will get the chance to learn from specialists of various fields on the transformation of idea into technology or product that strikes right to the needs of MICE entrepreneurs or investors for which can be put into commercial uses. Further, they will be prepared to represent Thailand and showcase their works at the final competition held at the major congress of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry or UFI, which will be hosted by Thailand this November.

Dr. Krithpaka Boonfueng, Deputy Executive Director (Innovation System), National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) or NIA, said, “NIA emphasises consistent promotion and support for Thai startups with our intention to accelerate and strengthen Thai startups, as well as to enable them to grow by leaps and bounds. Not only a number of incubation projects and funding schemes, but NIA has also supported them by developing the ecosystem that facilitates a strong growth for Thai startups. Considered an industry with potentiality in terms of channels and expansion opportunities, NIA has collaborated with TCEB to promote and bolster Thailand’s MICE industry through innovations in respect to encourage and empower Thailand to soar as the leader of MICE. NIA is looking forward to enhancing the image of Thailand to standout with innovations by adapting them with the MICE industry so that Thailand’s MICE will be on par with global standards and thus be able to step up as the hub of MICE in ASEAN. Additionally, innovation capabilities have been embedded in MICE personnel of all levels in order for Thailand to gain recognition as an Innovation Nation.

Indeed, the competition of innovative ideas for MICE has marked the participation of NIA as we are keen to support Thai startups with potentiality in terms of technology and innovation developments that respond to MICE’s industrial needs. NIA has provided incubation to leverage their capabilities, as well as support that leads to the establishment of startup businesses through NIA’s networks formed in national and international startup ecosystems.”

Mr. Chatchai Khunpitiluck, Senior Executive Vice President/COO, Digital Economy Promotion Agency or depa, mentioned that the yields from the Thailand’s MICE Startup project are derived from strong collaboration and empowerment of 3 organisations, including depa, NIA and TCEB. Delightfully, the success signifies a positive movement achieved as public agencies co-create to initiate new projects. The project not only delivers products and services that feature fresh ideas which can be implemented to benefit Thai MICE, but also registers new startups into the ecosystem and thus enlarges it. For this reason, depa is pleased to offer support and backing for these networks to get bolstered using the existing tools we already have. For example, the depa Accelerator x Techsauce project launched with the objective to incubate startups; the Tech Tycoon project with concentrations in entrepreneurial networking and funding provided through our Startup Fund measures that approve funds for different phases, ranging from 1 million baht during formation to 5 million baht in growth period; the Internationalization Voucher with key mission to enable Thai entrepreneurs to explore overseas digital markets. Moreover, depa also lends our support to SMEs through Digital Transformation Funds, which is the measures formulated for entrepreneurs in SME segment to apply digital technologies and innovations with their business or industry to boost efficiency. From time to time, different tools are designed to address every possible demand of each digital business segment. All of which will help to bring Thai economy to the frontline of ASEAN in the near future.

Mrs. Suwipa Wanasathop, Vice President, National Science and Technology Development Agency or NSTDA, said that, “Software Park by NSTDA is highly determined to enhance the capabilities and support entrepreneurs in technology, innovation and digital segment in regard to raise competitiveness of this industry. Obviously, Thailand’s MICE has shown a tendency to grow, side by side with backing from the government, which has eyed MICE as an economic stimulus tool. Owing to this good cause, the Thailand’s MICE Startup project serves as the arena to seek outstanding innovations that can be adapted with Thai MICE to achieve enhanced efficiencies. Through this project, opportunities are available for developers and startups to learn about the design and development of products that respond to the needs and can be implemented for commercial purposes. In addition, venture opportunities can be fulfiled through incubation programmes and activities held with support from affiliated partners from public and private sectors whose readiness prevails across different fields of expertise.”

Besides, TCEB also collaborates with The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency or GISTDA, right from joining as a committee to scour qualifiable startups to providing support for activities to add knowledge and strength for the 3 winning teams throughout the project’s period. As well, co-operation has been provided on an international level together with the Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers or SACEOS through a knowledge exchange programme held in the topic “The Development of Innovation and Startup Ecosystem for MICE Businesses”, which will be running from 24-26 July 2019 in Singapore, with the ultimate goal to inaugurate coordination for startup development projects in the future. Prospective agendas include the Startups Exchange Program and innovative idea exchanges. In addition, startups from the two countries will get the chances to share their startup ideas and initiatives at international events.

“This time, the integration of innovation developments with our affiliates for enhanced capabilities of MICE events not only unveils the keys to the adaptation of technologies to boost competitiveness of Thai MICE, but also enables new startups to build the ecosystem and makes the network of Thailand’s leading startups become widely known. Thus, Thai startups can collectively prosper with stability and sustainability in the international arena.” concluded TCEB President.

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