Thailand is planning to open and begin operating three R&D centres in June (Photo: Bloomberg)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency (DEPA) plans to open and begin operating three research and development (R&D) centres in June, comprised of an artificial intelligence (AI) lab, an augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) lab, and Maker Space – an innovative device design centre. 

The three units are expected to help spur projects at the digital park in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). 

DEPA President Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin said the three units will be located at the firm’s new office in the Ladprao Hills building that opened in March. 

The Thai agency signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) with various partners for each development unit. 

The development of the AI centre will be done via a partnership with the Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (Vistec) which is sponsored by PTT Group and located in Rayong’s Wangchan Valley.

The area aims to support education and human resources in science and technology. 

DEPA plans to spend 20 million THB (625,000 USD) on the centre, while Vistec will spend 30 million THB (nearly 940,000 USD) on the initial development budget. 

The AI centre is expected to help develop businesses and a workforce related to AI ecosystems, as well as innovative products driven by AI tech, Nuttapon said. 

For the AR/VR development centre, he said DEPA signed a 13 million THB (400,000 USD) MoU with a leading 3D and AR/VR development company, Unity Technologies, in April.

DEPA also signed a MoU with a local company, Anitec, for the joint development of innovative product designs. It plans to spend 10 million THB, while Anitec will spend 30 million THB on initial development. 

With these moves, DEPA aims to promote and build scalable startups and serve the government’s goal to push Thailand towards becoming a startup hub in ASEAN. –VNA