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Social Innovation

Understanding the Role of Social Innovation in Driving Thailand 4.0

Technology and digital transformation have always been instrumental in bringing change, resolving social issues and creating a better world. Driving this wave of transformation in Thailand is Hitachi with its Social Innovation Business.

We speak to Somsak Garnjanakarn, General Manager of Hitachi Asia (Thailand) Co., Ltd. about Hitachi’s presence in the nation and how it’s contributing towards the government’s Thailand 4.0 long-term vision of a better quality of life and sustainable future for the society.

Established in 1992, Hitachi Asia (Thailand) provides a diverse range of products and services to the public and private sector, such as electrical power plants, railway machinery, industrial machine, and advanced IT & IoT solutions.

Owing to Hitachi’s advanced technologies and Social Innovation solutions, the company was invited by the government to play a key role in the Thailand 4.0 initiative, to transform the nation and take it to the next step.

Understanding the Role of Social Innovation in Driving Thailand 4.0 (Part 2) - Hitachi

Garnjanakarn throws light on the 3 clear goals1 of Thailand 4.0:

  • Increase economic growth to over 5% within the next 5 years
  • Increase investments in Research and Development to over 4%
  • Raise average income to $15,000 by 2032

He also speaks about the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project which constitutes of the Rayong, Chonburi, and Chachoengsao provinces.

The government plans to turn these provinces into a “hub for technological manufacturing and services” by building new industries which is expected to give rise to 100,000 new jobs2 by 2020.

Hitachi has established the Lumada Center Southeast Asia in Chonburi province wherein they bring the IT and IoT solutions to support their public and private sector clients through collaborating with them. The company believes that the adoption of IoT will hugely benefit the manufacturing sector by improving efficiency and cutting costs by 30%.

Understanding the Role of Social Innovation in Driving Thailand 4.0 (Part 3) - Hitachi

Speaking about the Lumada Center, Garnjanakarn calls it the “digital ecosystem and solution” that offers IT, IoT, data analytics and AI technologies.

Adopting a method called Co-Creation, the center gathers and optimizes customer data to offer customized digital solutions. While Lumada Center currently focuses on the manufacturing industry, Hitachi plans to expand it to the supply chain industry as well.

The company is also involved in enabling Smart City solutions in Thailand. One of their biggest projects is designing a fully integrated mixed-use development in central Bangkok. They have many advanced systems and innovations in place such as the People Movement System which aims to make buildings “smarter” by providing elevators, escalators, energy management systems, and security and surveillance systems.

Apart from this, Garnjanakarn tells us that Hitachi has signed several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the government and private enterprises. One of them being an MoU with SCG Cement-Building Material Co., Ltd. (SCG-CBM) to promote energy saving solutions across SCG-CBM factories.

In the medical field, Hitachi has introduced a new technology to treat cancer called Proton Therapy System which aims to protect people from the side-effects that come with radiotherapy.

Garnjanakarn tells us that what makes Hitachi different is the fact that it has over 100 years of expertise in operational technology and over 50 years of experience in IT.

He acknowledges that collaboration is key to Social Innovation and the only way they can achieve their goal is to cooperate with customers and start powering good, together.

1 Royal Thai Embassy, Washington D.C.
2 Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2019: Towards Smart Urban Transportation, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Release Date: December 2019