PSU led by Associate Professor Dr. Perapong Tekasakul, Vice President for Research System and Graduate Studies, joined hand with Mr. Patrawut Panitkul, Executive Director of Accounting and Finance of Sri Trang Agro-Industry Public Company Limited in the mission to research and develop rubber innovation. PSU executive members and staff joined in to witness the signing on August 9th of 2017 at conference room of Office of the President, PSU, Hat Yai campus. .
Dr. Perapong Tekasakul, Vice President for Research System and Graduate Studies, PSU, stated that the collaboration promises to elevate technology development and inspire rubber-based innovation which can also turn into educational and industrial innovation to turn ideas into functional business products.
“Thailand 4.0” policy aims to drive economic structure toward “value-based economy” or “innovation-driven economy” and release Thailand out of the so-called developing country trap. Therefore, research and development are keys to build innovation-center economy.
Sri Trang Agro Industry Limited (Public) has been established since 1987 and is today’s biggest integrated rubber production operator in the world, with 12% of market share of natural rubber demand worldwide. The company’s integrative operation starts from growing rubber, manufacturing natural rubber products, to making functional products like medical rubber gloves. Sri Trang Group’s main business lies in its natural rubber products. The Group is currently supplying any basic rubber products such as rubber bar, smoked rubber sheets, and latex, etc., to fulfill demands around the world with its producing power of over 2.4 million tons a year out of 35 factories located in the top two natural rubber producing countries, which are Thailand and Indonesia, and also Myanmar.
Both PSU and Sri Trang Group both understand the importance and opportunity to turn natural rubber into value-added agricultural products, the process in which technology, research, and innovation are utilized to add profit margin for business while strengthen the country’s economy.
Current exported rubber production of Thailand is composed of 84% raw materials and 12 % of natural rubber products. Based on value, natural rubber products contain more than 5 times added value. Up till now, there has been little connection between research and development and industrial entrepreneurship. From here onward, there will be a growing movement toward increasing collaboration between the two sectors to increase commercial productivity.