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|Dr. Phiraphan Phalusuk discussing with Prof. Krug of EMPA|
Thailand is looking to improving its supply chain in the industrial sector, and utilise its natural resources to make value-added products to benefit from the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. One of the important features of Thailand is its unique textiles industry which reflects local cultures and traditions. Over fifty percent of Thai handicrafts produce are textile based and National Thai development policy has encouraged its development from a self-supporting role into an income generating activity. The Ministry of Science and Technology has recognized the importance of the local textile industry and is looking at ways to improving its value chain in order to create economic impact.
Recently Dr. Phiraphan Phalusuk, Minister of Science and Technology led a delegation to visit Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) in Switzerland. The purpose of the visit is to observe and look at ways in which new technology such as nanotechnology is being used in EMPA for fabric functional enhancement.
"At EMPA our research mission is to focus on sustainable use of materials for healthy future" said Prof. Harald Krug, Head of Materials Department and member of NANOTEC International Advisory Board. "We believe that future materials must be safe and recycle for both environment and society benefit".
"The Thai SMEs must focus on up grading their product in order to be competitive" said Dr. Phiraphan. "By being able to bring some of the technology that is available in various research facilities will greatly increase the value of our products and improve standard of living in communities".
EMPA is not new to the Thai research community given the close working relationship between Prof. Krug and the National Nanotechnology Center (NANOTEC). Earlier this year, Prof. Krug visited Thailand for a 3 month stay as Visiting Professor. He was attached to the Nano Safety and Risk Assessment Lab (SRA) and Nano Functional Textile Lab (NFT) at NANOTEC and gave several technical lectures.
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