To position itself as a key economic driver, the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Ministry of Science and Technology held the 15th annual academic conference or NAC 2019, during March 25-28, 2019 on the topic of “Moving Towards Thailand’s Future Economy with Science, Technology and Innovation.” The event consists of seminars, exhibitions, laboratory tours and some science activities.
The seminar focuses on presenting advances in science and technology and acts as a platform for exchanging knowledge and experience. The seminar topics are, for examples, Genomics, Thailand: Current status and future direction, Cosmetics and beauty food supplements, The Innovation from eggs for good health and a Smart Farm: Thai Agriculture 4.0 era. The exhibitions show the collaboration between NSTDA and the private sector in various areas such as food & feed and agriculture.
Certain research works deserve special mention for their usefulness and potentially high socioeconomic impacts. These researches are as follows.
First, “Cenospheres from fly Ash”
Cenospheres are mixed inorganic materials inside the fly ash. They are lightweight and can be used in various products such as lightweight plastic, composite, car parts and fire-resistant bricks. The researcher is planning to improve the production of cenosphere by developing the dry fly ash separation process since this process will be better for the environment and will enhance the quality of cenospheres.
Second, “Geopolymer construction materials produced from industrial waste” Geopolymer is an alternative cementitious material which is similar to traditional ceramics. It is a very strong and eco-friendly material that expected to be used in the construction fields in the future. Some examples of products are geopolymers tile from glass fragments, geopolymer bricks, stone pattern and lightweight bricks or composite from geopolymer.
The materials are divided into 3 categories which are dense geopolymer, porous geopolymer and geopolymer produced by additive manufacturing.
Third, “Rubber Innovation”
Since a low rubber price situation has a negative impact on the country’s economy and society, the Rubber Innovation Network has been established with main objective of adding value to natural rubber to develop into a new benefits that can increase more income. The Rubber Innovation Network together with the Life Support Standards Committee has developed a cost-effective “CPR training robot innovation.” Nowadays, certain innovation has become well-known in many areas of the country.
In addition, there are some inventions from MTEC that are ready for technology transfer as follows.
Biodegradable clay pots which can help reduce planting with plastic bags, the burden of storing black bags and reduce the impact on the environment.
Insect traps from rubber can be used to deal with insects problem without using chemicals. Most materials are from nature, the glue is made from rubber water with no color or smell. It is easy to use, environmentally friendly and can trap insects very well.
Non-woven has a structure suitable for passing water and air so it was created to help increase agricultural productivity and promote plant growth by developing technology and materials in agriculture. Since farmers often suffer losses during production so using a spunbond nonwoven will help to grow more efficient crops.
Lastly, there are not only elders who came join this event but also children as there are some activities for example, Origami. The event also has many shops selling handmade and folks which are very attracted to everyone.
NAC 2019 obviously has received a lot of attention since it provides many knowledge and experiences which are accessible and practical. Hopefully the next NAC 2020 will be an attractive event to attend.