MICT – SIPA Launched the Opening of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park (Phuket SCIP) as Part of Phuket Smart City Project to Promote Investments, Support Startups, SME Entrepreneurs and Innovation Development among Andaman Provincial Areas for Supporting Foreign Investors from ASEAN Member Countries Covering Eight Plans in Driving Digital Thailand
As a current member of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and one of the countries that is being closely watched by global stage, the government of Thailand therefore focuses on the implementation of Digital Thailand 4.0, a policy which aims to drive forward Thailand’s Digital Economy by accelerating infrastructure development to ensure the country’s readiness in terms of infrastructure system, including revising and amending certain rules and regulations that may be obstructing investment opportunities. Recently, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) joined forces with Software Industry Promotion Agency (Public Organization) (SIPA) in launching Phuket Smart City, the first Smart City established in Thailand, with the aim to support foreign investors from ASEAN member countries. The project covers eight strategic plans in fostering Digital Economy. At the same time, Phuket Smart City Innovation Park under Phuket Smart City was also launched to promote innovation development, technology learning and business consultation within Phuket Smart City and among southern provincial areas along the Andaman isle to pave way for major infrastructure development for supporting Tech Startups and fostering Digital Thailand 4.0 according to government policy
Dr. Uttama Savanayana, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, together with the executive team from Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA) visited Phuket Province from September 8 – 9, 2016 to attend the opening of ceremony of “Phuket Smart City 2020: Smile Smart and Sustainable Phuket”, including the launching of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park under Phuket Smart City and a special forum on “Vision Phuket 2020”. External parties that participated the event as Strategic Partners included Phuket Province | Prince of Songkla University | Bangkok University | Sri Pathum University | Kasikorn Bank Public Company Limited | CAT Telecom Public Company Limited | Cisco Systems Company Limited | Autodesk Asia Pte Ltd | Advanced Info Service Public Company Limited | Total Access Communication Public Company Limited | ICDL Asia (Thailand) | The Association of Thai Software Industry | Innodep Inc. and Gyeonggi Center for Creative Economy & Innovation, all joined forces in driving forward the operations of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park and collaborated with Phuket Tourist Association Thailand and Thai Hotel Association (Southern Region) in driving Smart Tourism.
The launching of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park in Phuket Province marks an important step towards the development of Phuket Smart City with SIPA being the key supporter starting from the establishment of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park as a hub for learning and development of innovations concerning Phuket Smart City to the promotion of digital investment under collaboration with the Board of Investment (BOI), including providing business consultation to Tech Startup and establishing relevant innovation centers namely ASEAN Tourism Software Excellence Center, IoT Smart City Lab and BIM Innovation Center in order to support Creative Entrepreneurs through Creative Entrepreneurship Academy.
SIPA, an organization under the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication, has carried out the operations of Phuket Smart City in clear and concise manner and in line with the determined roadmap
which focuses on addressing the policies initiated by MICT and the government which aim to promote the integration of technology as an essential tool to conduct nationwide reform in order to achieve stability, prosperity and sustainability in line with “Thailand Digital Economy”, which aims to promote capacity development among every industrial sector to ensure they are capable of competing in current digital market and at the same time drive the country towards Digital Thailand 4.0 in integrative manner.
The eight Digital Thailand plans previously launched by MICT that are directly related to Phuket Smart City included: 1) Establishment of Digital Community Center 2) Computer and Network Infrastructure Development such as Community Public Internet Access Program 3) Digital Society Development such as Thailand Cyber University Project for Open Education (Thai-MOOC) 4) Promotion of Digital Technology Integration among SMEs 5) Digital Public Service Development such as Public Service Quality Improvement for Digital Economy Development which covers two dimensions including work process improvement and public convenience while using public services 6) Human Capital Development for Digital Age such as Digital Workforce Development for supporting Tech Startup) 7) Smart City Development such as Phuket Smart City Development Project in Phuket Province and 8) Supporting the Management of Digital Economy Projects such as getting ready for transforming into Ministry of Digital Economy, including enhancing knowledge and understanding on Digital Economy development and driving forward Thailand Digital Economy.
Dr. Uttama stated that the opening ceremony of Phuket Smart City in Phuket Province and the launching of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park were carried out in swift and efficient manner. The event consisted of various development activities including: 1) Certified Digital Workers/Investors for supporting and giving privileges to Digital Worker and Digital Investors 2) Phuket Smart City Innovation Park for supporting Super Cluster Digital 3) Ecosystem and Incentive Study and Roadshow for gathering support measures and 4) Smart Wi-Fi Development, all of which helped to strengthen the entire system from upstream to downstream and even led to the formation of various groups such as Digital Workers, Angel Investors/Venture Capital, Technology and Innovation Cooperation Regional Head Office.
Mrs. Jirawan Boonperm, Chairperson of the Executive Board Software Industry Promotion Agency, stated that Phuket Smart City and Phuket Smart City Innovation Park both represent Thailand’s digital economy development zone by integrating digital technology with city development to enable efficient and flexible city management based on IEEE Standard (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) which covers six aspects including 1) Smart Economy which aims at building a city suitable for conducting businesses, creating product and service innovations and establishing new companies in the digital age 2) Smart Environment which aims at building energy-saving city, Green building and reducing energy consumption and the release of greenhouse gases 3) Smart Governance which aims at building a city with transparent administration and efficient cooperation with private sector 4) Smart Living which aims at building a city with pleasant and safe environment and completed with essential education and health facilities 5) Smart Mobility which aims at building a city that enables convenient, flexible and secure communication 6) Smart People which aims at building a city that offers social equality and wider opportunity for public participations and completed with necessary facilities for supporting the physically challenge, the underprivileged and the elderly. Hence, Phuket Smart City, a project operated by Phuket Province, was therefore divided into seven sections including Smart Economy, Smart Tourism, Smart Safety, Smart Environment, Smart Healthcare, Smart Education and Smart Governance. During its first year, Smart Economy, Smart Tourism, Smart Safety and Smart Environment shall become the main focus in hope to
achieve sustainable growth and public happiness. The government is expected to transform Phuket Province into Phuket Smart City by the year 2020 under the concept of “Smile Smart and Sustainable Phuket”.
Mrs. Jirawan also added that the launching of Phuket Smart City was carried out under collaborations among various sectors with emphasis on seven aspects including Smart Business, Smart Tourism, Smart Education, Smart Safety, Smart Environment, Smart Government and Smart Health Care. On the opening date, a discussion forum was also held during “Kick Off : Phuket Smart City 2020” session to allow exchanges of opinions, followed by MOU signing on the Development of Phuket Smart City Innovation Park for supporting Super Cluster Digital including the opening of ASEAN Software Excellent Center for Tourism.
Key organizations which contributed in the establishment and development Phuket Smart City Innovation Park included Prince of Songkla University which offers space for exhibiting technology and innovations relating to Phuket Smart City at affordable price, including innovation centers and space for digital entrepreneurs and investors who are interested in making digital investments in Phuket Province. Another organization is CAT Telecom which offers broadband internet access within Phuket Smart City Innovation Park, including constructing Co-Working Space for Tech Startup and CAT Innovation & Technology Exhibition Center, supporting the improvement of SME Entrepreneurs Development and Training Program in hope to drive SME entrepreneurs into becoming Creative Entrepreneurs and gain access to Digital Economy. Meanwhile, other private organizations also joined forces with SIPA and Prince of Songkla University in establishing Creative Entrepreneurship Academy under Innovation Park.
In the overall, the opening ceremony of Phuket Smart City and Phuket Smart City Innovation Park held at Phuket Province received excellent response from local community as well as relevant public and private organizations, particularly Mr. Chamroen Tipayapongtada, Governor of Phuket Province, who kindly joined a keynote session on “What Will Phuket Benefit from Becoming Phuket Smart City?”