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  • Chris Bratton - Tech Journalist

Smart City collaboration at the UK and Thailand: 25 selected among 108 companies

UK-Thailand Tech Export Academy Mission was held this May of 2021 to support innovative smart cities in the UK. These companies expand across the Asia Pacific region. 108 companies applied for collaboration in the program. But due to many factors taken in hand and the space allocation process, 25 were selected. They can now join a program lasting for up to nine months. Selected applicants will join preparation for the final trade mission to Thailand.



The smart city collaboration project will cover different sub-sectors. Ranging from smart energy, data analysis, people movement to even artificial intelligence. The smart city project was hosted by global banks, consultancy, law and accounting firms. And these trade missions were part of other efforts for business ventures. The firms help to upscale Thailand based businesses more effectively. There is also workshop subjects in the mission concerning today’s technology and ways to leverage them with data, market statics and intellectual property. Several sessions have been holding in the virtual workshop that benefits business in both countries.


DEPA set up a partnership with the UK for a series of workshops. According to ITPro, representatives from the UK met with local authorities. And they explored potential areas for collaboration as far as the smart city chapter goes. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Thailand’s minister for digital society and economy said their ministry and the partners in the UK accomplished quite a few meaningful collaborations. Bilingual Thailand Smart City Handbook is one of those great results. The northern region of Thailand called “Chiang Mai”, a north-eastern region known as “Khon Kaen” and last but not least, “Chonburi”, the eastern region is also benefitting from the ongoing collaborations.



Nonetheless, critique is everywhere and they help to keep a healthy completion around us most of the time. For this case, Leeds City Council made plans. It was to introduce projects and they were criticised by a local councillor. The council intended to introduce sensors for monitoring traffic at the pedestrian level. At the same time, air quality was also intended to be monitored if the workshop dint works out as early. Constructive criticism named the workshop “something out of Deutschland 83” as far as we know.



Trade and Investment

Smart City projects are the new collaboration that connects businesses with technology. And what’s a better way than to deploy the method overseas for broader inspection. According to Digital Economy Strategy, a $100 million budget falls under the digital skill support program. The Australian government is also on their way to digital transformation. They have a budget of $1.2 billion to transfer initial motives and economy by 2030. Many pilot programs are running to empower cybersecurity, scholarship and technical workforce.


As we know, Thailand is now a hotspot for transformation and its one of the focal markets. Technology Export Academy is keeping a large number of partners to go along. Air Asia, Amata, AOT, Bangkok Bank, Gulf, Ptt, SGS, UOB, WHA Group are to name a few among an enormous basket of partners on the list. According to ASEAN, The Tech Academy initiative started in 2020. Liz Truss, International Trade Secretary of the UK was the pioneer behind the kick-starter. Even after the pandemic, the British government took many strategies to emerge after the lockdowns.


According to Brian Davidson, “I hope the launch of the Smart City Handbook and the on-ground expertise as part of the Digital Trade Network will provide the foundations for future cooperation, sharing of experience and expertise between the UK and Thailand in areas of smart city development.”


The commitment started as a well-put effort and will spread roots toward other programs. DEPA and the UK’s partnership will remain unchanged with the Smart City series of workshops. It will also involve the British Embassy in Bangkok. Overall a better trade link up is situated between the countries. The trade exceeded over $7 billion and it will only go forward. The UK’s strong technology sector supported the trade mission with $260 billion by UK-Thailand TEA. This trade is currently the largest program in Europe towards smart cities for the future.

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