The 13th year of Thailand’s Novel Research and Innovation Awards is going strong, with fascinating innovations submitted from all over the country. This annual event was first held in 2001, with an aim to encourage creativity in research and innovations among secondary school, vocational school, and university students. The award recognizes projects that has potentials for commercial or industrial production.
“This year, a total of 30 projects were selected to continue into the final round. Fourteen projects belong to the science and technology category and 16 projects fall under the physical and sports innovation category. We are glad to see the students’ active participation in this event. It means that they and the academic institutions recognize the importance of creativity and innovation, which is a good sign for Thailand,” said Prof. Dr. Supot Hannongbua, President of The Science Society of Thailand Under the Patronage of His Majesty the King.
The finalist projects feature a wide range of innovations. Apinya Thanomkaew, first year student from Nakhonsrithammarat Vocational College, submitted a project related to the production of a local plant, Garcinia cowa, normally used in Thai cooking into a ready-to-use liquid form.
“Our team came up with two types of products, one ideal for making dipping sauces or seasoning a dish, the other is good for making curries,” said Apinya. In its liquid form, the product is easier to use and can be kept up to one year.
Another finalist project features ready-made polymer concrete wall panels designed to designed to facilitate building construction. “The concrete panels that are available in the market are bulky and heavy, better suited for large-scale construction projects. These polymer panels are light, durable, and can be sliced with regular saws, then fit in place with nails. They also provides better protection against heat compared to other ready-to-use wall products available in the market,” said the project’s owner, Thawichai Ariyasut, third-year student from Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi.
From the physical and sports innovation category, Nattaya Suwannadarak, third-year student from Institute of Physical Education, Sukhothai campus, submitted a project on an equipment that aids body balance and muscles maintenance among the elderly. “This equipment called Balance Testing Fun combines light exercise with body balance exercise. It’s easy to use. Just stand on it, slightly bend your knees, and allow your body weight to maneuver the ball to its destination,” she explained. The exercise helps train body balance and is recommended at least three times a week.
The winners will be announced at the National Innovation Day event on 5 October 2013. The first place will receive a royal trophy of the late Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, Princess of Naradhiwas, a 50,000baht scholarship, and a one-week overseas study trip. The second and third places will received a recognition trophy and a 30,000 baht and 20,000 baht scholarship, respectively. The three runner-ups from the secondary and vocational school level will received a 20,000 baht, 15,000 baht, and 10,000 baht scholarship, respectively.