Monday, September 26, 2016

Nectec to open Terahertz Technology Laboratory


The National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec) is marking its 30th anniversary by launching its research projects into the commercial market to spin off into new businesses.

Sarun Sumriddetchkajorn, executive director of Nectec, said the centre's strategy is to drive its 80-plus research projects towards the commercial market, partnership businesses, startups, cloud funding or new companies. 

The projects cover fintech, education, energy and environment, education and healthcare. 

The centre has launched three pilot solar-cell projects in remote areas of Prachuap Khiri Khan and Trat provinces and plans to set up another 10 similar projects in remote areas in a couple of years. 

Nectec is also developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) - an e-learning course that can be accessed via the Internet by an unlimited number of users. "We aim to help society and the private sector use our research projects for development and help offer new products and services to the market," Sarun said. The agency also plans to create the NETPIE cloud-based platform that interconnects IoT devices in a seamless and transparent manner by connecting IoT devices from developers or manufacturers to the cloud. 
There are now more than 20 NETPIE users who are interconnecting more than 10,000 IoT devices. The centre expects a new NETPIE startup to be officially announced early next year. 

To mark its anniversary, Nectec is holding its Annual Conference and Exhibition (Nectec-ACE 2016) to promote knowledge and share research. It involves three main areas - research and development to lay down information technology for the country, IT projects that can support and develop future businesses and services, and new technology and innovation that will play an important role in developing the country. 

The agency also plans to open the Terahertz Technology Laboratory to allow the application of electromagnetic waves in the region of between 0.1 and 10 THz. This range is known as the "terahertz bridge" or "terahertz gap". Terahertz waves are harmless to both humans and animals, can pass through non-polar materials such as plastics, wood and clothing, but cannot penetrate metal, concrete or water. 

Technology in this field is quickly gaining attention and some is already starting to be adapted for industrial use.

Technical progress in recent years has enabled the commercialisation of terahertz technologies for industrial use such as Non-Destructive Testing (NDT), Quality Control (QC), food industries, pharmaceuticals; and other possible areas including security, telecommunications and biomedical applications.

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