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RAIST completes Thai Silicon Valley picture

Posted: 14 Jul 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RAIST? research? science?

The research-intensive science and technology learning institution that is expected to leapfrog Thailand into a new technological frontier may get a $307.55 million endowment fund in support of its long-term operations. According to The Nation, PTT Group is planning to generate the said amount through fund-raising activities.

The Rayong Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (RAIST) is modelled after the Korean institution, KAIST. RAIST is the last important structure to complete the creation of Thailand's Silicon Valley, Dr. Pailin Chuchottaworn, president and CEO of the PTT Group told The Nation.

The university will occupy 144ha of the 592-hectare Eastern Seaboard expanse, which is home to the country's oil refineries, petrochemical plants, industrial estates, as well as export and domestic factories from various industries including automobile and electronics.

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RAIST campus design. Source: RAIST

The report said that PTT has already designated roughly $160 million to bankroll the operations of RAIST and the science high school Kamnoetwit Science Academywhich are both scheduled to open in 2015for the first five years. The planned endowment fund will sustain RAIST's research pursuits and support it until it gets the capacity to provide for itself.

Kamnoetwit was reportedly established to hone talents for RAIST. Only a small hand-picked group of 72 out of the 5,000 who applied to enrol will advance into the school's first education year.

RAIST, meanwhile, will initially offer postgraduate degree programmes at two of its research institutesEnergy Science and Engineering, and Molecular Science and Engineeringand will charge no tuition fee until 2020.

The institution has set ambitious goals for itself. One is to lead the country into an innovation-driven economy, and another, to establish a name in advanced science and technology research.

Chuchottaworn told The Nation that RAIST aspires to be the country's best university in five years, to make it to the top five in ASEAN in another five, and finally become one of the top 50 universities of the world by 2035.

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