MOST, NSTDA, Mitr Phol & Fraunhofer on 6 Billion Baht Biorefinery Research Project

National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), with cooperation of Mitr Phol Group, has lately invested over 6 billion Thai Baht for a research and development project on biorefinery with Fraunhofer Institute in Germany. The project, regarded as a pioneer to attract 10 big private companies to join it, aims to transform agricultural products and waste into a high value precursor for sugarcane and cassava.

Mr. Suwit Maesincee, the Minister of Science and Technology, said that the project had originated from a research carried out by Mitr Phol Group and the NSTDA to advance biotechnology and transform it into biorefinery, serving as a model of sugarcane and cassava. The two organizations invested over 6 billion Thai Baht for this 3-year project and will cooperate with many research centers from Germany like Fraunhofer institute besides others from Europe and Japan which will join them in the future.

According to the Thai government’s policy to mobilize the Eastern Economic Corridor (EECi) development, research and development on biorefinery technology, innovations and knowledge to transform agricultural raw materials into high-value biological products that respond to the need of agricultural and biochemical industries are a major concern because such industries help mobilize national economy under the BIOPOLIS which is a center of biological industry.

The Mitr Phol Group is considered a master of cooperation between public and private sectors working collaboratively to research and develop innovations on energy and biochemical industries until results became concrete. Thailand also takes pride of the research in the world economic forum and life quality of Thai farmers is improved thanks to higher income from added value of processed raw materials introduced by the project.

The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will also invite 10 private companies to join the project, namely TUF, PTT, SCG and Beta Grow, via the people state model to promote Thailand as a biologically-based economic leader in South East Asia in the future.

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Board Director of Mitr Phol Group Mr. Kritsada Monthienwichienchai said that Thailand enjoyed agricultural potential and advantage in comparison with other countries regarding development of the New S-Curve industry, especially research and development on agricultural products to enhance energy and biochemical industries, agricultural biotechnology, human and animal foods, cosmetics and medicine. All begins with sugarcane and cassava.

This year, Mitr Pho, Group invested additional research fund of 1,000 million Thai Baht, a proportion of 1% more from previous annual income of 500 million Thai Baht, to introduce the company to biological economy which integrates technological innovations and effective administration. This suits well with the Thailand 4.0 policy and, at the same time, emphasizes on modern research and technology which are able to add more value to agricultural products so that over 100,000 Thai farmers have better life quality.

“Previously, Mitr Phol developed itself before cooperating with local and international research institutes working on developing and improving sugar business. The latest cooperation with the MOST will facilitate more convenient and faster development until Thailand becomes the future biohub,” concluded Kritsada.