The National Innovation Agency (NIA), Thai Union Group PCL., and Mahidol University’s Faculty of Science announced that 23 startups have joined their food-tech incubator and accelerator program at SPACE-F.
SPACE-F, announced earlier this year, is a collaboration project designed to promote the development of food-tech startups. The first of its kind in Thailand, SPACE-F is supported by Thailand’s NIA to align with the government’s national policy of supporting the food industry through innovation. The program received 142 applications from around the world, with the selection committee recruiting 23 teams from Germany, India, Norway, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. Of those selected, 12 will join the incubator program and 11 will be part of the accelerator program.
Dr. Pun-arj Chairatana, Executive Director, National Innovation Agency (Public Organization) said: “The food industry contributes greatly to the Thai economy. In a world where digital disruption is having a great impact on consumers, the food industry needs to innovate so it can respond to the changing needs of consumers, including their concerns around food waste. Innovation can help with recycling food and offer environmental-friendly packaging. We also see AI playing a more vital role in the food production process, aligning with the different demands on food products such as function food and energy food. Therefore, SPACE-F is an important step for our country’s food industry.”
Dr. Tunyawat Kasemsuwan, Group Director – Global Innovation, Thai Union Group, said: “Thai Union, as one of the world’s seafood leaders, has long driven our business with a focus on innovation. Our partnership with the NIA and Mahidol University in SPACE-F is another platform where we can offer our expertise in innovation in the food business to startups. SPACE-F provides labs and working space for 23 startups. The program also provides other knowledge and skills including finance and management to ensure these startups will successfully bring their ideas to commercial levels.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sittiwat Lertsiri, Dean, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, said: “Mahidol University’s Faculty of Science is one of the leading schools of science in Thailand. We are resourceful and well-equipped in high-level research and development in science and technology. This will help build food innovation through technology, which will eventually contribute to the Thai economy. Apart from our labs and know-how, the SPACE-F program will benefit from our networks in helping to develop their products.”
The SPACE-F program has nine areas of focus:
Health & Wellness
Novel Food & Ingredients
Biomaterials & Chemicals
Food Safety & QualitySmart Food Services
SPACE-F is a partnership between public, private and academic sectors that will draw support in funding, visa facilitation, marketing, public relations, major events in innovation such as Startup Thailand and Innovation Thailand Expo, including collaboration with international organizations.