Bid to conduct Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry “Fiscal 2011 research project concerning the promotion of infrastructure systems exports” accepted
March 15, 2012
A joint bid by The Japan Research Institute, Limited (President: Yasuyuki Kimoto; “JRI”), Toshiba Corporation (President & CEO: Norio Sasaki; “Toshiba”), NTT Data Corporation (President & CEO: Toru Yamashita; “NTT Data”) Itochu Corporation (President & CEO: Masahiro Okafuji; “Itochu”) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (President: Takeshi Kunibe; “SMBC”) to conduct a “Fiscal 2011 research project concerning the promotion of infrastructure systems exports (Research of the business potential of smart community, etc., in the global market)” (“the research”) for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, has been accepted. JRI, as contractor, with Toshiba, NTT Data, Itochu and SMBC as sub-contractors, will jointly propose research preparatory to the realization of a smart community in Amata Science City (ASC) (“the research”).
The five companies plan to carry out the research by the end of March 2013, with a view to the realization of a smart community in ASC, whose development has been planned by Amata, the market leader in the development and management of industrial estates in Thailand, and which the Thai government also hopes will serve as a model for the conversion of industrial estates to smart communities.
In Thailand, where global companies establishing operations in the ASEAN countries are pressing ahead with building their regional headquarters (RHQs), problems relating to environmental pollution and flood damage have shown that infrastructure needs to show greater consideration for the environment and that risk management functions need to be enhanced. The smart community at ASC will take into account both trends among global companies and local issues, and will be equipped with the latest basic infrastructure, including research & development functions and risk management functions. It will be built on the assumption of cooperation with adjoining, existing industrial clusters.
The five companies and Amata, which is the leading developer in the ASEAN countries, will consider what functions are best suited to the new concept of smart community that ASC aims to provide. They will also consider mixed real estate development methods, including methods that enhance ASC’s added value as a city, with a view to developing a specific business model for smart communities.
JRI, which has supported the preparation of Amata’s strategy for the ASC initiative since September 2011, will be chief organizer and will be responsible for overall leadership of the research. Toshiba will primarily research energy management for ASC, and integrated functions linking energy management with other infrastructure such as transportation and water. NTT Data will research disaster prevention systems in relation to flood countermeasures, which are a key issue for Thailand, together with the advanced information and telecommunications functions that are required for RHQs. Itochu will leverage its strong track record in the development of industrial estates in ASEAN countries, researching business plans that will meet the needs of companies establishing operations in Thailand and allow investment recovery. SMBC has a 60-year track record in doing business in Thailand, and is strengthening its business relationships with Japanese and non-Japanese companies in the growing Asian markets, and its involvement in infrastructure-related businesses. In this project, SMBC will research finance models for ASC.
Once the research is completed, Phase 1 of the ASC development will involve developing an area of approximately 3km2. Environmental impact assessments are to be completed by around December 2012, construction is to begin in April 2013 and all work is to be completed by March 2017.
Of some 550 tenants moving into the neighboring Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate, around 60% are Japanese companies from the automobile and electrical industries, and Amata has shown a keen interest in collaborating with Japanese companies on the development of ASC.
On the basis of the knowledge obtained through the research, the participating companies aim to play an active role in urban function creation projects combined with industrial clusters planned in Asian countries.