Novosibirsk-Thailand University Relations: A Joint Project on Using Modern Technologies in Food Market

Novosibirsk State University and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (Bangkok, Thailand) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding during an official visit of the Thai delegation to NSU. Novosibirsk State University is the first Russian university to develop partnership with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi.

The delegation of the Thai university included Associate Professor Dr. Suvit Tia, the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Head of the Energy Efficiency Program at National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Asst. Prof. Dr. Tippawan Pinvanichkul, the Vice President for Property and Finance, Asst. Prof.Dr. Montira Nopharatana, the Vice President for Industry and Partnerships and Dr. Warinthorn Songkasiriab, the Head of the Excellence Centre of Waste Utilization and Management.

During the visit, the delegation was received by the NSU Rector Mikhail Fedoruk, and the parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding stating the priorities of the cooperation. The priority spheres of mutual research interests of this Agreement include scientific research in the sphere of using modern technologies in the food market, influencing consumer and technical characteristics of raw materials and food; carrying out joint interdisciplinary surveys in the field of innovative foodstuff development; economic evaluation of alternatives of the use of different types of food and their utilization as accomplishment of interdisciplinary scientific projects on ensuring global food security.

The delegation stayed in Novosibirsk for two days, and the second day was devoted to the first international research seminar on the topics discussed, Food market, food security and sustainability. The participants outlined research directions and opportunities for the cooperation between our universities.

As the head of the Research Center of Food Security laboratory (the Economics Department, NSU) Yulia Otmakhova reports, the Thai delegation introduced some working research projects of their university (KMUTT) and shared their rich experience of interacting with industrial partners aimed at financing research projects for the food market. The partners discussed main details of starting the program of academic exchange for postgraduates, researchers and postdocs between our universities to develop the priority areas set up in the documents. The first group of Russian researchers is going to visit Thailand in December. The seminar resulted in developing a number of initiative projects for the year to come. Yulia Otmakhova says that they will focus on economic evaluation of using promising Russian and Thai technologies that influence the improvement of consumer and technological characteristics of food raw materials and food stuff. Other important directions include studying and developing natural preservatives in order to extend the shelf-life of premium-segment food products through using biotechnologies, developing projects in bioeconomic research and conducting joint interdisciplinary surveys in the field of developing higher-value-added innovative food stuff.

King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi was founded about 50 years ago as a research university serving as both educational and industrial park. KMUTT is now one of the leading Thai universities that has been designated one of the Nine National Research Universities with World-Class Capabilities. In 2012 it entered the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in the band of top 351–400 universities being the only Thai university in Top-400. It is ranked at the 352 position in QS World University Rankings for engineering and technology and 161-170 among Asian universities. Its strengths in Architecture, Bioresources, Energy, Engineering, Environment, Linguistics, Science, and Technology are recognized internationally.