Science

What lies ahead in science and technology


Here is what our Future Listers expect to see

Three of the Future List 2020 honorees give us a sneak peek into what lies ahead, and what they hope to see, in the world of science and technology. They are digital entrepreneur Lusarun Silpsrikul, CEO and co-founder of Page365; Dr Thanyaporn Wongnate of the School of Biomolecular Science and Engineering, Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (VISTEC), and L’Oreal Thailand For Women in Science 2019 fellow; and digital entrepreneur Cindy Kua, co-founder and CEO of digital insurance provider Sunday.

Lusarun Silpsrikul

What do you see as the most exciting development in the field of science, technology and IT in the world, and in Thailand, for 2021?

On a global scale, I am particularly interested in genome editing technologies. Recently, we have gone beyond traditional CRISPR technique and vastly improve the accuracy and cost of genome editing. Feel free to dig deeper on 'prime editing' or TALENs technique. 

What would you most like to see for Thailand in this field in the future, and what is needed to make this happen?

For Thailand, I am looking forward to the transformation of traditional businesses like restaurants, retails, spa and even hotels to so-called 'Social Commerce'. It is one of the very few things that our consumer behavior did not follow the western path. The consumer part is already there, new businesses are already growing. It would be interesting to see whether traditional businesses can transform themself to provide 'entertainment' and retail value in one of the largest Social Commerce markets in the world.

Dr Thanyaporn Wongnate

What do you see as the most exciting development in the field of science, technology and IT in the world, and in Thailand, for 2021?

I personally believe that bioenergy research is the most exciting development in the field of science in Thailand and the world because it can contribute significantly to global energy demand in the future especially the biotechnology for waste conversion to produce bioenergy and value-added biochemical substances can be a key technology to help Thailand waste management system because it can generate income for communities or organisations who segregate and manage waste conversion/treatment properly. This technology is instrumental to the bio-, circular and green (BCG) economy that is currently highlighted by the current government in order to develop Thai economy in a sustainable manner.

What would you most like to see for Thailand in this field in the future, and what is needed to make this happen?

This type of [bio-energy] production will be a clean process that does not release any harmful waste to the environment and is a project model that uses integrated technology in the removal of waste from the community by converting them into biofuel and biochemical. This will lead to the increase in alternative energy production in the country, reduction in fossil fuel energy production, and reduction in energy imports from abroad. Waste segregation will be encouraged, both, in households and any establishments, which will help to reduce problems in waste management, pollution and environment in Thailand, along with solving the problem in all sectors related to waste management.

Cindy Kua

What do you see as the most exciting development in the field of science, technology and IT in the world, and in Thailand, for 2021?

It will be exciting to see increased development, integration and adoption of virtual health services as part of primary care delivery to consumers. Mobile adoption integrated as part of formal healthcare systems to allow patients to stay informed, monitor and manage their conditions on a regular basis from home at their convenience and view health as a general wellness. 

What would you most like to see for Thailand in this field in the future, and what is needed to make this happen?

As we move more towards private-healthcare financing, I would most like to see more affordability and patient independence where our consumers in Thailand are able to spend more time managing and planning the trajectory of their health before incurring more costly and unnecessary treatments. I hope for us to move from being a passive recipient of care to one where we are actively engaged in our own care. To make this happen, more reliable and personalised information is needed for us to make informed decisions on how to obtain or receive care including but not limited to symptom checkers, simpler and remote access to primary care for example telemedicine, and more price certainty and transparency upfront over how much care cost. Decentralized delivery care structures for example, home-based care, bio-sensing devices, remote monitoring and telemedicine to increase adoption of virtual health and to be embedded as part of chronic disease management will be key to make overall care more affordable.