MI formalizes today a new landmark cooperation agreement with the National Innovation Agency (NIA) for the further promotion of social innovation in the Mekong region countries. The NIA is a Thai public organization that takes the lead in the promotion and development of Thailand’s innovation ecosystem for national competitiveness.
The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations is led by MI Executive Director Dr. Watcharas Leelawath and NIA’s Executive Director, Dr. Pun-arj-Chairatana at MI, Khon Kaen, Thailand. The MoU formalizes the collaboration between MI and NIA in the conduct of trainings and workshops, undertaking of research on social innovation, knowledge exchange and sharing of knowledge resources and information networks, and exchange of personnel.
“This is an excellent opportunity for MI because we are keen to scale up the success stories of NIA on social innovation for implementation and adoption in our member countries in the region particularly Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam,” says Dr. Watcharas Leelawath. “Our objective is to tie innovation with agricultural development to help increase the productivity of the region’s agricultural sector, improve incomes and livelihood and ultimately, reduce poverty,” he explains.
Dr. Pun-arj-Chiratana also remarks on the excellent fit of MI and NIA’s thematic focus and what this collaboration could bring for the Mekong region. “Working with MI marks another journey for us of joining hands in three specific areas – building up capacities around the Mekong region, learning from each other on social innovation, and extending intangible knowledge, and therefore bring in more value creation into the region.”
Also present to witness the MoU signing are guests from Khon Kaen University led by Prof. Dr. Supachai Pathumnakul, Vice President for Innovation and Enterprise.