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ITRI and Thailand's NFI Ink MOU to Cooperate in Food-Related Smart Manufacturing

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ITRI and Thailand's NFI Ink MOU to Cooperate in Food-Related Smart Manufacturing

ITRI and Thailand's NFI ink MOU to cooperate in food-related smart manufacturing on June 21, 2017.
ITRI and Thailand's NFI ink MOU to cooperate in food-related smart manufacturing on June 21, 2017.


Responding to the government's New Southbound Policy, ITRI and Thailand's National Food Institute (NFI) on June 21 in Taipei inked an MOU on developing smart manufacturing of food products in Thailand. Signed by Dr. Jwu-Sheng Hu, ITRI Vice President and General Director of the Mechanical and Mechatronics Systems Research Laboratories, and Mr. Yongvuf Saovapruk, NFI President, the MOU paves the way for the two sides in the future to develop food product smart manufacturing and IoT system solutions, along with bio-based economy solutions. Both sides will also cooperate in the training of talent. It is hoped that the collaboration will integrate Taiwan's technological strengths with Thailand's abundant resources, enabling the two to develop business opportunities in smart manufacturing of foods throughout the world.

Thailand is the largest maker of processed foods in ASEAN, and in 2016 the nation’s exports of food products reached NT$810 billion. Thailand, however, spent NT$21 billion on imports of food processing equipment and packaging machinery in 2014, with annual growth of 8%. Under the Thailand 4.0 initiative, strong demand is expected for smart system sensors and food manufacturing machinery applications required in the food processing industry.

ITRI's Dr. Hu remarked that ITRI's industrial IoT and cyber-physical integration technologies assist many local manufacturers in boosting their capacity and enhancing supply chain production efficiency. ITRI will encourage Taiwan companies to participate in this project with Thailand, which will help them gain a foothold in the Thai market and expand business opportunities for smart machinery to produce food products in that nation. The MOU, he stated, will further expand cooperation in related technology applications.

Dr. Sean S.H. Wang, ITRI International Center General Director, stated that Taiwan and Thailand have engaged in close cooperation in recent years. In March, ITRI formed a delegation to visit the NFI, and a bilateral agreement has established an R&D cooperation platform and mechanism. Dr. Wang added that ITRI hopes to be able to play a role in promoting R&D cooperation and expanding business opportunities between the industrial sectors. This would enhance the international competitiveness of the smart manufacturing of both Taiwanese and Thai food products, he stated.

Mr. Saovapruk also stressed that his organization is striving to promote R&D that will boost the value and capacity of Thailand's food industry. In response to the global trend toward Industrie 4.0, the NFI will continue to push ahead with innovation and commercialization of food technology, he said. Besides looking to ITRI with its considerable experience in developing innovative applications and commercialization, the MOU will encourage more institutions or enterprises from Taiwan to cooperate with their Thai counterparts, jointly promoting smart manufacturing technology and competing for global markets, Mr. Saovapruk stated.