8 September 2020, BANGKOK – The National Innovation Agency (Public Organization), or NIA, together with Thai Union Group PCL (Thai Union) and Mahidol University hosted the 'SPACE-F batch 1 Incubator Demo Day' to showcase incubator startups under the first food-tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand and South East Asia. There were seven startups that participated in the SPACE-F Demo Day: Anrich3D - 3D printed food for personalized nutrition; Let's Plant Meat – a plant-based meat suitable for Asian food; Artificial Anything (EIS) - IoT sensor for beverage manufacturing; Qualifresh - Temperature Sensor for food storage and transportation; Advanced Green Farm - cultivation technology for premium-grade Wolffia globosa or 'phum', a high protein vegetable; More Meat – a plant-based meat delivered directly to restaurants and consumers; and Sesamilk - an alternative milk made from sesame. SPACE-F earlier announced that Thai Beverage PLC (ThaiBev), Betagro Group and Deloitte joined the program this year.
Caption: 'SPACE-F batch 1 Incubator Demo Day' showcased incubator startups under the first food-tech incubator and accelerator program in Thailand and South East Asia.
Dr. Pun-arj Chairattana, Executive Director, National Innovation Agency said: "The NIA recognizes the importance of developing startups in the food industry to create opportunities for Bangkok to step into a "Foodtech Silicon Valley". The SPACE-F program consists of an Incubator Program and an Accelerator Program that will support deep-tech startups to be able to create innovative businesses that meet market needs. This will enable startups to grow sustainably, and step up the food industry nationally and internationally. SPACE-F is focusing on setting-up nine FoodTech trends to the world – 1) health & Wellness; 2) alternative protein; 3) smart manufacturing; 4) packaging solutions; 5) novel food & ingredients; 6) biomaterials & chemicals; 7) restaurant-tech; 8) food safety & quality; and 9) smart food services. This program has improved our startups a lot. In the early days, some teams only have an idea, but now they've already develop their products and their products are available on sale at leading supermarkets, online channels, and business-to-business (B2B). After finishing this program, the NIA still has mechanisms to support startups to grow continuously, including funding, networking with public and private sectors such as financial institutions, science and technology organizations, and marketing channels such as social media and big innovation events - Startup Thailand, and Innovation Thailand Expo, etc."
Thiraphong Chansiri, CEO, Thai Union Group PCL, said: "Last year the National Innovation Agency, Mahidol University and Thai Union started SPACE-F with the hope that it would nurture deep-tech startups in the food industry and support the start-up ecosystem in Thailand. Thai Union believes that innovation is critical to growth, not only to our company but also the wider food industry as it offers an uncompromising competitive advantage at every level. Therefore, we are committed to investing in innovation. At Thai Union's Global Innovation Center, more than 100 researchers and scientists are working diligently to bring new innovations to the market. We are also committed to Open Innovation. We work with external parties including universities, research institutions and food-tech startups. SPACE-F is a proof positive of our determination in innovation development for the industry. The success of SPACE-F since its first year speaks louder that the partnership between the government, academic institution and private sector are crucial to endorsing these food-tech startups to the next steps."
Prof. Banchong Mahaisavariya, President of Mahidol University said: "Currently, the SPACE-F project has been in operation for its second batch with three new partnerships: ThaiBev, BETAGRO and Deloitte. This country's leading alliance of governmental, private, and institutional partnerships will collaboratively support the SPACE-F project to achieve its goal. The achievements of the startup team demonstrated today are parts of the incubation program in the first batch. This created a strong network and helped groom entrepreneurs to grow in the global food industry with their innovation. As an alliance, Mahidol University truly believes that we will be a support for driving development of the Thai and global food industry through the SPACE-F project in the future."
Mr. Jean Lebreton, Senior Vice President, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited said: "It is an honor for Thai Beverage to become a partner of SPACE-F. We believe that this collaboration between leading public and private sectors will encourage F&B technology startups and entrepreneurs to build, strengthen and sustain their business. Thailand is known as a country with one of the most abundant natural food resources. Teaming up with specialists who can share their expertise and experiences will allow us over time to develop Bangkok into a global center for food innovation. ThaiBev believes that the companies included in SPACE-F's Batch 2 will help address the specific needs of various segments of consumers not only in Thailand but also globally."