On April 4, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha presided over the opening of the HACKaTHAILAND, a digital upskilling project initiated to provide people with advanced skills in digital technology and innovation as well as raise awareness about digitalisation in preparation for the transition to the new-normal economic structure after the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The HACKaTHAILAND project was held under the theme New Normal: Digital Possibilities to emphasize that every opportunity is possible through the use of digital technologies and innovations. The project was organised in collaboration between the Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa), Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Company Limited, state agencies, stakeholders and partners in the private sector.
Prayut said Thailand embraces digital transformation in order to move forward to achieve the Digital Thailand goal over the next five years. The government has continuously developed digital infrastructure to make Thailand the centre for digital development in Southeast Asia (ASEAN Digital Hub) and promote the adoption of digital technologies and innovations among small businesses, entrepreneurs, farmers, and communities across the country (Digital Transformation).
The government is also prepared to leverage Big Data to maximise the nation’s digital transformation such as through the development of data scientists and advanced digital skills specialists. The government is gearing up to revitalize the economy after weathering the Covid-19 crisis on the back of uncontrollable disruption challenges in multiple dimensions.
During the sluggish economy, the digital economy has seen exponential growth as people are increasingly going digital and spending most of their lives online and it is so much that such lifestyle practice becomes a new norm.
Therefore, Thailand needs to create an advantage in order to gain a competitive edge through leveraging digital technologies and innovations. Thailand is preparing for digital readiness in four core dimensions: Access, Connectivity, Data, and Automation.
Access aims to provide people with greater access to digital technologies and innovations. Businesses and society must acknowledge the importance of personal data protection, privacy, and cybersecurity.
Connectivity focuses on creating an integrated digital platform that connects digital technologies with people, businesses, communities, and segments of society in preparation for digital economic and social integration both in the physical world and the virtual world.
Data is created to accommodate higher volumes of data. It is becoming more important to optimise the development of the digital economy and data-driven society. At the same time, the country is preparing basic infrastructure and technological essentials to enhance the efficient development and management of industries associated with data analytics.
Automation is adopted as the economy is transitioning to the era of automation with digital technologies leveraged to maximise efficiency, productivity, and human performance. Digital technology enables us to empower customer insights in order to understand the needs and changing behaviour of customers, helping to save time and costs.
“Pushing Thailand on the economic and social development roadmap to meet the Digital Thailand goal, it needs to have collective collaboration of all stakeholders to upskill human resources in order to transform the traditional economy so that Thailand will be ready for competing in the modern trade. It is a way to reduce disparities and generate equal opportunities for all, resulting in a quality and resilient society that is ready for any changes and disruptions. The country also looks forward to developing digital infrastructure and ecosystem to facilitate structural changes in the new economy and society. All need to be adjusted to align with the evolving digital landscape,” said Prayut.
Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) said the spread of the Covid-19 has disrupted the way of life, economy, society, and the environment. People have adjusted themselves to align with the new-normal lifestyle, changing business and education landscapes.
It is mandatory for Thailand to provide its people with greater access to digital technologies and innovations and to properly make the most of them in a safe and secure way while transitioning to the future world. All people will be ready for any changes and disruptions and move forward in the digital era with strong determination.
“MDES and depa, together with partners in the public and private sectors teamed up to launch the HACKaTHAILAND project to elevate digital skills and knowledge on digital for the public. The digital upskilling project promotes the adoption of digital technologies and innovations among entrepreneurs to enhance their business performances.
“It also aims to develop digital personnel and empower Thai digital startups, which are the backbone and major driving forces to help move the country’s digital economy forward as well as reinforce the country’s competitiveness for sustainable economic and social development. The project is also a stage for people around the world to see the country’s preparedness in transitioning to the digital era, helping to boost confidence and investment eventually,” said Chaiwut.
Meanwhile, Asst Prof Dr Nuttapon Nimmanphatcharin, President/CEO of depa said the HACKaTHAILAND project was initiated to raise awareness and promote digital literacy and knowledge of digital technology among Thais. The project plays a vital role in developing an ecosystem for businesses in the digital-driven technology sector and making people in the businesses and society realise that digital can make all opportunities possible through the launch of three main activities, comprising HACKaTHAILAND Learning Platform,
HACKaTHAILAND Competition & Beyond Hackathon, and HACKaTHAILAND Hybrid Exhibition.
“HACKaTHAILAND Competition & Beyond Hackathon is an ideation stage, where participants brainstorm to create new solutions to deal with national problems in three key industries: Agriculture, Tourism, and Logistics. There is a workshop where participants can share their ideas, views, and experience with Thai and foreign experts and specialists. A case study will be raised for all participants to pitch their practical ideas in front of the judging panel within a time frame of 168 hours.
“All participating teams will be narrowed down to 10 finalists to work with partner agencies in solving the national problems. Works and collaboration between the 10 finalists and partner agencies will be followed up and monitored one month after the end of the competition. The HACKaTHAILAND Competition & Beyond Hackathon features a total of 503 people in 126 participating teams. The competition kicks off today and is scheduled to announce the winning teams on April 10,” said Nuttapon.
In addition, the Prime Minister’s Digital Awards 2021 in five categories were presented to people and organisations during the opening. The Minister of Digital Economy and Society represented the Prime Minister to present the awards and shared his ideas and experience in digital technology. Dr Chawapol Jariyawiroj, President of Huawei Technologies (Thailand) Company Limited gave a keynote to provide inspiration for all participants in the HACKaTHAILAND Competition & Beyond Hackathon.
The HACKaTHAILAND project took place from April 4 to April 17. Participants gained knowledge of advanced digital technology and innovation from seminars and workshops with fun activities, entertainment and mini-concerts so that they could enjoy an immersive digital experience and share a viral clip with friends on their social media.
Published : April 19, 2022