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Thailand establishes center to aid IT masterplan development

Center aims to reorganize the country's data storage system to meet international standards, provide training in IT areas such as cloud computing and mobile development, and help startups and small companies find partners.

A group of IT professionals have opened a research center in Thailand to aid the country's information and communication technology (ICT) masterplan, Smart Thailand.

The center's director, Thanachart Numnonda, said that the center is aimed at reorganizing the country's data storage system to meet international standards, The Bangkok Post reported on Wednesday. This is because Thailand is lacking a quality ICT database to help policy makers develop the IT masterplan, he explained.

It is positioned as a "brain sharpener," to hone IT skills, support startup firms, and improve the country's IT competitiveness, Numnonda noted. He also acknowledged that Thailand has a lower number of software companies using cloud technologies, compared to the other Southeast Asian nations.

The center also signed a two-year deal with the Association of Thailand ICT Industry (ATCI) to conduct market research and provide training in areas such as cloud computing and mobile development. It also aims to train at least 1,000 people in the first year of operation, and provide a matching service to help new companies and smaller firms find partners.

Another group, the Cloud Thailand Alliance (CTA), had been launched by Thai government agency Software Park Thailand and local cloud service providers in July, to help boost the development of Thailand's cloud computing sector and encourage local development of software and applications for the platform.

Smart Thailand, started by the Thai government in 2012, spans across four years in a bid to increase both wired and wireless coverage to cover 80 percent of the country. So far, the Thailand government has collaborated with major Thai telcos by providing financial sponsorshp to accelerate the rollout of free Wi-Fi networks this year .

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