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UK and Thailand join forces to fuel smart city collaboration

30 UK businesses are taking part in the virtual trade mission to Thailand

The UK and Thailand have joined forces to launch the “UK Thailand Tech Export Academy” in a bid to encourage smart city collaboration between UK and Thai businesses.

This move comes as part of the Tech Academy programme, which was launched last year by the trade department as part of a plan to support UK companies post COVID-19. Out of the 108 companies that applied, 30 were selected to join the nine-month programme in preparation for the final trade mission to Thailand.

The virtual trade mission was part of other collaborative efforts in smart cities between the UK and Thailand, spearheaded by the initial launch of the UK-Thailand Smart City Handbook, in partnership with Thailand’s Digital Economy and Promotion Agency (DEPA). 

“Smart city technology has the potential to revolutionise the way we design urban environments, and how we live within them, the better to suit modern society,” said Graham Stuart, UK minister for exports. “The businesses chosen for the Tech Export Academy are changing the world of tomorrow - from commuting to work, to powering public facilities.”

The UK’s partnership with DEPA continued with a series of smart city workshops, where UK representatives met with local authorities to explore potential areas for smart city collaborations.

“Our ministry and the UK partners have indeed accomplished quite a few meaningful collaborations, such as the bilingual Thailand Smart City Handbook and stakeholder mapping workshops in three different regions, namely in the northern region (in Chiang Mai), the north-eastern region (in Khon Kaen) and the eastern region (in Chonburi),” added Thailand’s minister for digital economy and society Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn.

Last month, Leeds City Council’s plans to introduce a set of smart city projects were criticised by a local councillor, who described the proposal as akin to living under Stasi rule in East Germany. The council’s initiatives involved introducing sensors to monitor pedestrian traffic levels, as well as to monitor air quality, which a conservative councillor described as “something out of Deutschland 83”.

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