On 26 January 2024, Prof. Dr.Sujitra Wongkasemjit, Vice President of Mae Fah Luang University presided over the meeting for discussing research and innovation commercialization under the University Holding Company Scheme which was held both online and onsite at Chiang Saen Meeting Room, Vanchai Sirichana Building. This meeting brought together Ms. Manunya Chunhavuthiyanon, Division Director, the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO); Mr. Ramade Silapaprom, CEO of CU Enterprise; Assoc. Prof. Juthamas Ratanavaraporn, CEO and Co-founder of EngineLife Co., Ltd.; Asst. Prof. Dr. Suthira Taychakhoonavudh, CEO and Co-founder of BaiyaPhytopharm Co., Ltd; Mr. Anont Tanaset, NXPO Policy Specialist; and Mr. Kantapich Preedakorn, NXPO Policy Analyst to give lectures and share ideas on the University Holding Company. After the meeting, the participants visited MFU Cosmetic Pilot Plant and MFU Herbal Medicine Laboratory.
Prof. Dr.Sujitra Wongkasemjit stated that Mae Fah Luang University is considering the possibility of setting up a holding company between Mae Fah Luang Unievrsity and a private sector for utilizing research results and innovation for commercialization according to the University Holding Company Scheme approved by the Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO). This scheme aims to promote and encourage universities to co-invest with the private sector in innovative businesses based on research and innovation developed by Thai researchers – an action that will drive income and employment creation, value addition, competitiveness improvement, and develop an ecosystem to promote research commercialization and innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs) in Thailand.
In addition, Ms. Manunya Chunhavuthiyanon revealed that a setting up of university holding company requires a combination of 70% old economy (driven by natural resources, labour and capital) and 30% new economy (driven by technologies, innovation, cultural capital, and creativity) in order to help free the country from the middle-income trap by 2037.
A university holding company is a private entity established separately from a university with the main role to professionally manage an investment in innovative businesses that are spun off from university research. The holding company also supports businesses to engage in commercial research and development and provides them with access to university’s resources and connection with the industry sector along with financial facilities. Universities can reduce their reliance on government funding and enhance their financial sustainability.
Mae Fah Laung University has a vision to become a leading university in ASEAN with international recognition striving for well-being and sustainable future. The university’s main missions are to cultivate quality human resources and develop excellence in academics, research, and innovations for the society under disruptions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in accordance with Thailand's development. MFU also aims to produce the quality graduates who will be intellectual support to society and to promote the utilization of innovation for educational, societal and commercial purposes.