MHESI and TISTR Attended a Meeting with Australian Leading Organizations, to Create International Network and Drive Area-based Economy Using Innovation.

Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR) under Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) created an international collaboration network of innovative agriculture. The delegations of TISTR and MHESI attended a meeting with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Plant Breeding Institute—an organization under the University of Sydney, Australia to exchange and learn the research and development for technology including the Supplementary Diet Product, the operation on Plastic Product in line with BCG Model, the agricultural and ornamental planting technology. The discussion also included the approach to the collaboration between organizations in the future for the sustainable community development.

The executives of MHESI and TISTR have recently attended a meeting with leading organizations in Australia. The Thai delegations were leaded by Prof. Sirirurg Songsivilai M.D., Ph.D., Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation (MHESI) as the chairman of the Board of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research, together with Dr. Chutima Eamchotchawalit—Governor of Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research (TISTR), Dr. Rochana Tangkoonboribun—Director of Expert Centre of Innovative Agriculture (InnoAg), Dr. Boonnanida Sodha—Director of International Relationship Department, Office of the Governor (OGV), and Dr. Anan PiriyaPhattarakit—Senior Researcher of InnoAg.

During the trip, the delegations attended a meeting with Prof. Grant Brinkworth—Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity and visited the laboratory at Westmead Innovation Quarter, Westmead Research Hub. The Governor of TISTR presented the overall operation of TISTR and the BCG Model—the economic driving policy, and discussed over the collaboration in Clinical Trial Development for the Supplementary Dietary Food as well as the future cooperation on Plant-based Protein Development which contributes the specializes of TISTR in Herbal Extraction and Natural Product.

Furthermore, the delegations met Ms. Andrea Sosa-Pintos—IPPIN Senior Program Manager, together with representatives from the Artificial Intelligence Team, the New Generation Agriculture Team, and the Plastic Team of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in the topic of the New Generation Agriculture and Collaboration on Plastic.

The team of CSIRO is going to launch the Indo-Pacific Plastics Network Project (IPPN) in the Mae-khong Region in the early of 2023. TISTR has an interest in joining the project. The possible collaboration is a technical support from CSIRO in terms of Business Model Development of Full-cycled Waste Management in Thailand and Expert Exchange between organizations.

In addition, the delegations talked to Prof. Richard Trethowan—Director of Plant Breeding Institute, an organization under the University of Sydney. Joined with meeting, Prof. Robert Park—Head of the Research Team of the Rust Program took the delegations to visit the Rust Research Program and the Institute Research Program of Agriculture and Crop Cultivation. There are Missions to promote the research regarding Plant Breeding Development for benefits, profits, and sustainable production with the best technology. The research focuses on the Genetic Development of Cereal, and Crops, the Development of Food Quality and Farming System, the Agricultural Digitalization, and the Adjustment for Climate and Natural Change. The operation of the Plant Breeding Institute of the University of Sydney has a very close direction with the Missions in Agricultural Research of TISTR; then, the delegations of TISTR wish to seek for a collaboration or a co-research project among institutes in the future.

Before returning, the delegations visited the Sydney Flower Market—the biggest flowers and ornamental plants market in Australia where there are 50 percent of flowers in Australia selling. According to the survey of the market and information, there are flowers and ornamental plants growing and selling in Australia whole year, the best production period of which is in February – May. The popular flowers are Rose, Carnation, Gerbera, Lily, etc. Most products are distributed and consumed domestically. Australia imports cutting flowers from some partner countries such as Kenya, Malaysia, and China. Referred to information in 2019, Thailand exported Orchids to Australia for 95 percent of the export cutting flowers to Australia. Since 2020 that Thailand started exporting Roses to Australia, there have been positive trends on expanding export market of cutting flowers to Australia.

The visit of MHESI and TISTR to Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) and Plant Breeding Institute, the University of Sydney, Australia was to exchange and learn the operation of the technological and agricultural research and development. It was a significant beginning of an international collaboration and networking in Innovative Agriculture in order to align an approach of cooperation in the future and create an international market opportunity for Thai SMEs.