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Thailand Accelerating Semiconductor Sector

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The COVID-19 crisis has further increased the demand for electronics products and critical parts in several countries and companies, including many that already have investments in the countries, especially Thailand.

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Semiconductors have experienced a surge in demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. Following suit with initiatives like the U.S.’s establishment of the HBCU CHIPS Network, Thailand is also taking strides to strengthen its semiconductor workforce. This includes combining resources and promoting diversity, essential for supporting sectors such as consumer electronics, automobiles, data centres, and critical infrastructure.

Thailand promotes its semiconductor and advanced electronics industries through various initiatives and collaborations. The country has introduced new incentives to attract investment in semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, as well as research and development.

Thailand is preferred for semiconductor manufacturing and other electronics-related industries due to its strategic location, skilled workforce, and supportive government policies. Thailand is fostering a dynamic collaboration between government, industry, and academia to strengthen its position in the global semiconductor landscape.

This initiative aims to incubate a highly skilled workforce tailored to meet the evolving demands of the semiconductor sector, enhance Thailand’s competitiveness in the global market, and attract increased investments from international stakeholders.

In light of this, the engineering faculty at Khon Kaen University has hosted the 5th Campus Tour activity as part of the Sandbox Project to launch a skilled workforce in “Semiconductor and Advanced Electronics” in the Northeast Region. Many guests attended the programme, including Prof Maitree Inprasitha, PhD, Vice President for Education and Academic Service, who welcomed the participants. Dr Sampan Silpanat, President of Thailand Cooperative Education and Chairman of the World Cooperative Education, presided over the opening ceremony.

Other attendees included Assoc Prof Ratchapon Suntiwarakorn, PhD, Dean of Engineering and Asst Prof Angkana Boonyued, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, network institution administrators, and joint company executives. The event attracted many students and interested individuals, both online and onsite.

The Sandbox Project, focusing on developing a highly competent workforce in this field, aligns perfectly with Thailand’s ambitions to become a regional hub for high-tech industries. Assoc Prof Maitree Inprasitha highlighted the Sandbox Project’s concept of producing manpower for all four regions of the country, focusing on unlocking Thailand’s potential in the Semiconductor and Advanced Electronics industry. This aligns with Khon Kaen University’s commitment to educational transformation, particularly in the new paradigm, by introducing new programmes, knowledge areas, and lifelong learning tools.

Dr Sampan Silpanat emphasised the strategic importance of the activity in driving the Sandbox Project forward. He noted that the project’s collaboration with leading global companies would ensure secure and sustainable employment for graduates, ultimately helping Thai citizens become global citizens with high incomes, engaging in challenging and rewarding careers at reputable companies.

The project is open to 3rd-year students in science-related fields, who will undergo an in-depth practicum for 6-9 months at network companies, gaining direct experience, intensive training, and a challenging project assignment, along with remuneration.

Assoc Prof Jeeranut Sngiamsak, PhD, Chairperson of the Sandbox programme in Semiconductors, highlighted the importance of developing highly competent individuals in Semiconductors to meet the industry’s needs.

The forum, moderated by Assoc Prof Jeeranut Sngiamsak, featured guest speakers who shared insights on the world’s situation and opportunities for Thailand, particularly in IC design, the challenges of developing highly competent individuals, and the educational transformations needed to meet industry demands.

The event was organised by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, the Office of the Permanent Secretary, the Office of National Science and Technology Development, the Technology and Micro-Electronics Centre (TMEC), and the National Council of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation Policy, along with 16 network universities and 7 leading universities in Thailand in Semiconductor and Advanced Electronics.

This programme is a testament to Thailand’s commitment to digital transformation and economic development. By investing in education and innovation, Thailand lays the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable future in the Semiconductor and Advanced Electronics industry.


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