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Project X: the birth of TNI
Prof.Tomonori Aoyama, President of IEICE
awarded IEEE ComSoc/KICS Exemplary
Global Service Award
IEICE Communications Society
Information of International Conferences
APSITT 2010 by IEICE Communications Society
|Through Participation in
Database Development Activities
on Japanese Excellent Technologies
|Message from TFIPP Secretariat|
It is my pleasure to introduce my long year experience through planning, founding and managing Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (TNI, see the details at http://www.tni.ac.th) to all of you, covering the background and scheme of evolution. I wish that younger generation researchers and students would know the importance of collaborative global academic activities and be encouraged through my experience.
I was awarded the Monbusho scholarship to study in Japan from 1967, for a duration of seven years. During that time, Thailand was governed by a military dictatorship. Thai students who were awarded the scholarship stayed together in two main dormitories, one in Inage and one in Komaba. Leaving the tight control of our homeland into a free society like Japan stimulated our young and energetic minds to observe the difference between the two countries. Night after night we used to gather in a dormitory room to discuss a wide range of issues, most relating to the situation of our mother land. The discussions revolved around questions such as why Japan's society was much more advanced compared to Thailand despite the facts that we started westernization during the same period - i.e., the Meiji restoration in Japan and King Rama V's reform in Thailand.
Eventually the discussions would lead to similar conclusions, the main reason was the different characteristics between people of the two countries. We recognized that Japanese people were very well educated and highly disciplined. Through the repeated and heated discussions, we came to understand the importance of ghuman resourceh and the necessity to invest in Thailand's education system to achieve sustainable development. We became very passionate about human resource development in Thailand, and were eager to contribute to the development of our beloved country.
After graduation and return to Thailand, we went on to work in our different fields, however, we periodically gathered to regenerate and keep alive our passion for human resource development. We gained a common platform to realize our passion with the establishment of gTechnology Promotion Association (Thailand-Japan)h, briefly TPA (http://www.tpa.or.th) in 1973. TPA's ultimate goal is to assist in the transfer of technology, mainly from Japan, to Thailand's industrial sector, in order to enhance its international competitiveness. Working full-time jobs during the day, we met in the evening or even late into the night to discuss, plan and prepare activities for the association. The activities include, for example, organizing technical training and seminars, publishing technical books and journals, and providing calibration services for measuring instruments. We all worked voluntarily to support TPA and to help promote new production and management technologies from Japan to Thai technicians and engineers.
Starting with a mere minimum of 5-6 full time staffs, while receiving financial support from Japan's former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) through the Japan-Thailand Economic Cooperation Society (JTECS) - TPA's supportive and understanding partner in Japan, the Association has gradually evolved to be one of the most recognized technological human resource development organizations in Thailand. The Association has around 320 employees as of 2009, with the revenue of about 430 million baht in 2008. TPA's activities in 2008 cover more than 2,000 courses of technical and management training, with almost 70,000 participants, publication of new and reprinted technical and management books more than 120 titles in total, calibration of almost 40,000 working standards for the industrial sector, and so on.
While, TPA's founders had other ambitions, we knew that the accumulation and transfer of knowledge would not suffice for sustained development, that we also needed an institute to stimulate and promote the creation of new knowledge. It was the dream and vision of TPA's founders, to set up an institute for higher education, specializing in technical disciplines. This vision has been seriously discussed and debated throughout TPA's existence over the 36 years or more. However, the project was forced to be delayed, again and again, due to limited financial resources and the financial crisis in 1997.
In early 2004, the time was ripe for our long-standing dream to become a reality, as the demand for technical manpower had surged due to the rapid expansion and growth of Thailand's industrial and service sectors. During the years financial resources available for the project had increased considerably, however, it was still insufficient to fund the entire project. The TPA board of directors held a series of meetings to discuss the future of the project. In the final meeting, during our usual heated discussions, one board member pointed out that though TPA had accrued only half the funding required for the project, it would be still difficult to endorse the project. Another board member had a different perspective and he said gWe all were moved and motivated by watching NHK's Project X, weren't we? Why not leave a monument to move and motivate our children? We already have half the funds needed, let's do it.h At the end of the meeting, the board unanimously endorsed the project.
The new institute was named Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology to symbolize over the three decades of collaboration under strong mutual trust and respect between TPA and JTECS.
it will be further enlarged due to the planned admission (Fig.3).
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