Mr. Sanon Wangsrangboon, deputy governor of Bangkok, reveals that BMA and NIA have shared the goal of making the Thai capital a pleasant place to live in via policy formulation and implementation. To achieve this goal, it is important to use innovations in not just easing or solving problems but also leveraging existing good resources for enhanced livability and added value. ARI is a strategic area, which is now being upgraded into “innovation district”. The upgrade marks an important beginning of its journey to become more livable with better housing, convenient public services, modernity, and a town plan that well supports tech-driven businesses. ARI can ride on its ranking as one of the world’s best neighborhoods for its transformation into a top innovation district at an international level and its comprehensive integration of innovations.
“Bangkok is not just a tourist or a residential city. It is important to note that on the basis of supportive ecosystem for startups and innovations, Bangkok ranks among the best in the world. This year, Bangkok’s ranking in this regard also improves significantly. Such outstanding progress underlines the fact that the Thai capital is innovative in many aspects and enjoys urban growth, which are driven by its innovation districts and their strengths. So far, many other neighborhoods may need innovations too. BMA therefore is playing a role as a facilitator via regulation, bridging and integration in a way that boosts confidence in the possibility of innovation usage. Our efforts cover the development of innovation districts, which focus on impacts on people, city, economy, and new opportunities”.
Mr. Chanwit Rattanarasri, director of Innovation Infrastructure Department at the NIA, says his agency has laid down guidelines to pursue and distribute area-based innovation development at regional, city, and district levels. The development focuses on three dimensions: the promotion and development of Innovation Infrastructure, the development of City Innovation & Innovative City which include promoting community participation; and bridging and integration across relevant organizations in key dimensions. Moreover, NIA seeks to bring Deep
“NIA, in collaboration with BMA and partners in both private and public sectors as well as communities in ARID, aims to increase ARITech’s role in developing ARID and promoting startups in this district in a hope that public services become really inclusive. After our collaboration started in 2020, we have found that ARID has important components. If these components are well-integrated, ARID will definitely progress further. These components are: 1) Economic assets or companies, researches, and startups related to ARITech that are scattered across this area and include world-famous firms like IBM, Forth Corporation and AIS; 2) Physical assets such as ARID’s city-center location, convenient access to public transport systems, and mixed use of spaces; 3) Network assets from entrepreneurs, government agencies, and civic organizations that have come together because of their shared goal of developing ARID; and 4) Digital assets that are available in the form of electronic data on electronic networks including databases or widely-used platforms”.
Mr. Chanwit adds that in 2023, NIA, BMA, and partners aim to establish ARID as a “Cognitive City”. Therefore, they will together expedite the development or adoption of Deep Tech to enhance ARID’s strengths and let it shine as a new economic hub for innovative businesses, investments by public and private sectors, as well as international tech firms. Also, NIA, BMA and partners aim to strengthen ecosystem for innovations by developing ARID as an innovation sandbox where infrastructure for technology development will be developed and used to solve city problems, increase the value of ARID’s physical assets, and foster collaborations among relevant organizations. In line with these plans, NIA organized ARID Hackathon 2023: Innovation for well-being to promote, build, and develop the sandbox where innovations will be tested. The contest focuses on the environment, connectivity, and safety. Out of the 36 teams that participated, 5 teams made it to the finals and joined the contest’s mentoring activity and pitching. PARK 😀 emerged as the top winner thanks to its presentation of Parking Lot – Sharing platform, which promises to enhance transport connectivity. Its idea will be developed further as a protype for testing in ARID.
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