The European Cluster Collaboration Platform (ECCP), in collaboration with the Innovation and Technology Assistance Program (ITAP) under the Thailand National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), organised the EU - Thailand Cluster Cooperation and Matchmaking Event in Bangkok (Thailand) on the 6th-8th of September. The overall objective of the event was to provide EU clusters access to the Thai healthcare market through close cooperation with local-based organisations.

The European cluster delegation was composed of 9 cluster organisations related to the medical and healthcare sectors: Hellenic BioCluster (Greece), Future Position X (Sweden), AgroFood Regional Cluster (Romania), Medicine Estonia Cluster (Estonia), RoHealth (Romania), Transylvania Regional Balneotourism Cluster (Romania), Laser & Engineering Technologies Cluster (Lithuania), Lithuanian Medical Tourism Cluster (Lithuania) and Information Technologies in Medicine (Lithuania).

The agenda included several activities that allowed the EU cluster delegation to gain an understanding of the Thai medical and healthcare market, as well as to establish contacts with public and private key players. During the morning of September 6th the ECCP and ITAP organised a cluster cooperation seminar, with the participation of representatives from the European cluster delegation, representatives from 15 Thai public and private organisations in the healthcare sector and the different speakers involved in the seminar. The seminar opened with welcome remarks provided by: Dr. Chanwit Tribuddharat, Acting Vice President of NSTDA; Ms. Isabelle de Stobbeleir, First Secretary of the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand; and Ms. Ina Marčiulionytė, Ambassador of Republic of Lithuania to China and Thailand.

The seminar included different sessions aiming to provide both European and Thai organisations with knowledge about the market opportunities and the existing initiatives to promote the cooperation between European and Thai clusters. Thus, the different EU initiatives, such as the ECCP, the EU Gateway Business Avenues and the South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk were presented. Furthermore, a representative of the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) presented the main opportunities and barriers for European companies in the Thai healthcare sector and a representative of the National Science Technology and Innovation Policy Office (STI) gave an overview on the Science, Technology and Innovation System regarding the Thai Healthcare and Medical Industries. These presentations allowed the European delegation to gain a better understand of the Thai context. Furthermore, the seminar included the short introductions of each European and Thai cluster, which facilitated networking during breaks and during the matchmaking session. Please see the attached event agenda for more details.

A cluster matchmaking session was conducted on the afternoon of September 6th. In total about 55 meetings between European and Thai organisations were conducted (an average of 6 meetings per European participant).

On September 7th the European delegation participated in several site visits to relevant public and private organisations in the Thai healthcare sector. The first site was the Chulalongkorn University, where the delegation visited the facilities of the Cognitive Fitness Centre and several laboratories of the Faculty of Medicine. After this, the delegation had a meeting with several representatives of Bangkok Hospital, part of the Group Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS). BDMS holds more than 45 hospitals and clinics throughout Thailand, as well as in Cambodia. This visit provided the delegates an overview of one of the most important healthcare companies in South-East Asia, how they work and which are their priorities. Finally, the delegation visited N Health, a company of BDMS, which is an ASEAN leading provider of laboratory and other healthcare services.

On the last day of the event, September 8th, the European cluster delegation visited the Medical Fair Thailand 2017. At the fair, the delegation had the opportunity to meet and visit the booths of many Thai and  other Asiatic providers of medical equipment and technologies.

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