Updated on 5 February 2013
According to Prof Yuthavong, the Thai biotech industry is doing very well in the area of agricultural and food products. "This is our main strength stemming from original strength in agriculture. We also have potentials in medical biotech, because the good brains in Thailand tend to go for medicine. However, here we have a gap between clinical medicine and the medical industries, including pharmaceutical industry, because we tend to work in the downstream areas of treatment, and not in the basic and upstream areas of drug development."
In the near future, Prof Yuthavong sees himself contributing further to research in his group, progressing to strategic planning and advising. "I want to write books and talk to people, especially the youth, to try and explain to them the value of science," he says, adding that he hopes to continue to the policymaking as well "since we are still devoting too little resource to research and development". "We use so much money in short-term, populist programs, such as subsidizing car purchase, while an equivalent sum or even less for research and development can guarantee our future in the long run. I hope to convince people and the government of these lasting values," concludes Prof Yuthavong.