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Mitr Phol Group joins force with TRF to empower innovation research

Leveling up Thai sugar and sugarcane industry in moving towards
bio economy and creating new S-Curve for Thailand 4.0
Mitr Phol Group and The Thailand Research Fund (TRF) under Research and Researchers for Industry (RRi) Program signed a memorandum of understanding for supporting postgraduate research project in biotechnology, aiming to encourage the creation of innovations that elevate Thai sugar and sugarcane production industry as a movement toward a competitive bio economy, driving new S-Curve, new cycle of leaping growth that aligns with the government’s innovation and technology-driven Thailand 4.0 policy.  
Prof. Suthipun Jitpimolmard, Director, The Thailand Research Fund (TRF) (right) said that “The collaboration with Mitr Phol Group is a great opportunity to elevate Thai industrial sector through research, in response to the country’s development towards knowledge-based economy. The development of agricultural sector requires modern innovation that combines traditional farming knowledge with intelligent machinery to maximize crop yield per unit area, as well as the movement towards bio economy and value creation for agricultural products, which can strengthen and level up the competitiveness of Thai industrial sector in international markets. The development comprises building competent workforce and creating new researches. Both Mitr Phol Group and TRF share the same vision to jointly support post-graduate research workforce in developing new researches for Mitr Phol Group. The project supports research topics with practical purposes, well-proven to optimize TRF’s research management expertise in Research and Researchers for Industries Program and limited resources of all parties.  TRF and Mitr Phol Group will each provide half the funding for each scholarship, unlimited in number, for a period of five years starting October 1, 2016 until September 30, 2021 (fiscal year 2017 - 2021).” 
According to Mr. Krisda Monthienvichienchai, CEO and President, Mitr Phol Group, (left) “Our new vision is to drive our bio-based business as a new S-Curve, aiming at bringing a leaping economic growth towards Thailand 4.0. Mitr Phol Group is highly committed to research and development for new innovation and technology as well as fully supports our research workforce. R&D is crucial for expanding our business as a movement toward a bio economy, which bring value addition to Thai economy, as well as Thai agriculture sector and the environment. The partnership with TRF focuses on development of research workforce in the field of biotechnology, which is essential to bring added value to economic crops, and eco-friendly farm management innovation and technology for sugar and sugarcane production industry.”
Under the collaboration, Mitr Phol Group will select qualified in-house researchers who are master’s or doctoral degree students to grant scholarship, and TRF and Mitr Phol Group will each provide half the funding for each scholarship. In the first batch, there are 10 researchers from Mitr Phol, 8 master’s degree students and 2 doctoral degree students, entitled for the scholarship. Moreover, Mitr Phol Group joined hands with Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Agro- Industry; Kasetsart University to launch the first-of-its-kind Non-Coursework curriculum, which allows researchers to work and learn concurrently in the company, with university classes conducted to the workplace.
Research topics entitled to gain support from the project include:
  • Sugarcane variety improvement
  • Processing technology for value creation of sugar and sugarcane products
  • Value creation of waste from bio-refinery processes
  • Improvement of raw material shipping and storing systems
The partnership between Mitr Phol Group and TRF not only brings about new research papers on biotechnology which leads to the mature development of bio economy in Thailand, but also build new competent research team, a major workforce that help drive the country’s economic sector towards Thailand 4.0.  In moving toward an innovation-driven economy, Thailand requires 4,000 researchers with doctor’s degree annually.