ResearchResearch projects
Bedeutungswandel öffentlicher Forschungseinrichtungen für das nationale und regionale Innovationspotenzial in Thailand

The changing role of public research and teaching organisations for regional and national innovative capacities in Thailand

Led by:  Prof. Dr. J. Revilla Diez, Prof. Dr. Ingo Liefner
Team:  Björn Mildahn, Daniel Schiller
Year:  2006
Funding:  German Research Foundation (DFG)
Duration:  2003 - 2006
Is Finished:  yes

Until the Asian financial crisis of 1997 Thailand has undergone an impressive process of economic catch up. This process has been based mainly upon the comparative advantage of lower wages. Since wages are rising in Thailand and new competitors, e.g. China, are attracting more and more foreign direct investment, Thailand needs a new ‘unique selling proposition’.

The international competitiveness of the Thai economy today depends critically on the ability to utilise innovative capacities of the whole nation and its particular regions by transforming it into a knowledge-based economy. In this context research and teaching organisations (RTOs) play a crucial role. They educate a highly qualified workforce, their research results contribute to the  knowledge base of the whole country and collaboration between science and industry leverages endogenous technological capabilities. Due to the fact that recent research conducted on the Thai innovation system focussed on technological capabilities in the manufacturing sector and little attention has been paid to the contribution of RTOs in the Thai innovation system, this research project responds to a need of further research.

Our research project is the first one dealing systematically with science-industry collaboration in Thailand. Since we are surveying public RTOs as well as private enterprises, we try to elaborate in-depth information about the role of the science system in enhancing the innovative capacity of Thailand. Furthermore we contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the Thai innovation system and derive policy recommendations by benchmarking the Thai findings with results of our research projects in other regions in  Europe and South-East Asia.

Our most important research questions are as follows:

  • To what extent is it possible to transfer concepts and methods of analysing regional and national innovation systems derived from developed countries into the context of developing and newly industrialised countries?
  • How are enterprises in Thailand generating technological capabilities and how do Thai RTOs contribute to it?
  • Which differences do public RTOs show compared within Thailand and internationally and how do these differences effect regional and national innovative capacities?
  • Which policy recommendations for the further development of the Thai science system can be given on the basis of surveying the current contribution of public RTOs to regional and national innovative capacities?

Poster [89 KB]


  • Schiller, D.; Mildahn, B.; Revilla Diez, J. (2009): Barriers against the transfer of knowledge between universities and industry in newly-industrialised countries: an analysis of university-industry linkages in Thailand. in: Varga, A. (Hrsg.). Universities, Knowledge Transfer and Regional Development. Elgar: Cheltenham. S. 295-320.
  • Schiller, D.; Brimble, P. (2009): Capacity Building for University-Industry Linkages in Developing Countries: The Case of the Thai Higher Education Development Project. Science, Technology & Society 14(1): 59-92.
  • Liefner, I; Schiller, D. (2008): Academic capabilities in developing countries - A conceptual framework with empirical illustrations from Thailand. Research Policy 37(2): 276-293.
  • Schiller, D.; Liefner, I. (2007):  Higher education funding reform and university–industry links in developing countries: The case of Thailand. In: Higher Education 54(4). 543-556.
  • Schiller, D.; Revilla Diez, J. (2007): University-industry linkages - potential and realization in developing countries: Thai experiences. Asia Pacific Tech Monitor 24(1). 38-44.Schiller, D. (2006): Nascent Innovation Systems in Developing Countries: University Responses to Regional Needs in Thailand. Industry and Innovation 13(4). S. 481-504.
  • Schiller, D. (2006): Universitäre Industriekooperationen in Thailand: Auswirkungen des Wandels im thailändischen Hochschulsystem auf Kommerzialisierungsstrategien der Hochschulen und Wissenstransfers im Innovationssystem. Reihe Wirtschaftsgeographie Bd. 37. Lit: Münster.
  • Schiller, D. (2006): The Potential to Upgrade the Thai Innovation System by University-Industry Linkages. Asian Journal of Technology Innovation 14(2). S. 67-91.
  • Mildahn, B.; Schiller, D. (2006): Barrieren für den Wissenstransfer zwischen Universitäten und Unternehmen in Schwellenländern – eine Analyse des regionalen Innovationssystems Bangkok. Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie 50(1). 31-43.
  • Schiller, D. (2006): University-industry linkages and the seven centers of excellence. In: Brimble, P., Grannall, D. (Hrsg.): Performance Monitoring System for Thai Higher Education Development Project. Asia Policy Research: Bangkok.
  • Schiller, D.; Waysarach, P. (2005): Industrial Relations of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. Final Report. Hannover: Univ.

Presentations to Scientific Audiences:

  • Schiller, D.; Liefner, I.: Academic capabilities in developing countries – conceptual remarks and empirical illustrations from Thailand. 6th Conference on University, Industry & Government Linkages (Triple Helix VI) "Emerging Models for the Entrepreneurial University", 16.-18. Mai 2007, Singapur.
  • Schiller, D.; Brimble, P.: Capacity Building for University-Industry Linkages in Developing Countries: The Case of the Thai Higher Education Development Project. 6th Conference on University, Industry & Government Linkages (Triple Helix VI) "Emerging Models for the Entrepreneurial University", 16.-18. Mai 2007, Singapur.
  • Schiller, D.: Die Bedeutung des Hochschulsystems für den wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungsprozess Thailands. Jahrestagung des AK Südostasien. Rauischholzhausen, 23.-25.06.2006.
  • Brimble, P., Schiller, D.: University-Industry Linkages in Thailand: Seizing the Opportunity. Special Technical Workshop, NSTDA. Bangkok, 26.05.2006.
  • Schiller, D.: University-Industry Linkages: Center Experiences and Lessons Learned. Capacity Building Workshop “Performance Monitoring System for the Thai Higher Education Development”. Bangkok, 01.-02.05.2006.
  • Schiller, D.: University-Industry Linkages: Experiences from Thai Higher Education. Keynote Speaker to the Annual Seminar of the Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment. Nakhon Nayok, Thailand, 29.04.2006.
  • Schiller, D.: The Emerging Role of Public Universities in Upgrading the Thai Innovation System. 3rd Asialics International Conference “From Imitation to Innovation: Asia Meets Global Challenges”. Shanghai, 16.-19.04.2006.
  • Schiller, D.: Öffentliche Forschungseinrichtungen im thailändischen Innovationssystem. Tagung des AK Industriegeographie. Eschwege, 11.-12.11.2005.
  • Schiller, D.: Industrial Relations of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). Workshop on Industrial Relations. KMUTT. Bangkok, 03.09.2005.
  • Schiller, D.; Liefner, I.: Commercialisation and Industrial Relations at Thai Universities: Coping with new challenges in higher education. Seminar on University-Industry Relations in Thailand. National Science and Technology Development Agency. Bangkok, 02.09.2005.
  • Schiller, D.: University-Industry Relations in Thailand: Impacts on Technological Change and Regional Economic Development. Gastvortrag am Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Kasetsart University. Bangkok, 08.04.2005.