A five-day In-Country Program aimed to promote "technopreneurship" was organized by the Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC) in Sakhon Nakhon, a city in Northeastern Thailand from November 14-18, 2016. Held at the P.C. Grand Palace Hotel, 49 College directors, administrators, teachers and education personnel involved in entrepreneurship studies in TVET participated in the program.
The program targeted to further the awareness of the participants on the relevance of technology entrepreneurship education today specially in TVET. The need to redirect a significant critical mass of TVET graduates from wage employment to technopreneurial careers in a developing country like Thailand was also among the objectives of the program. It was also hoped that through the program, the sharing of ideas will contribute to the body of knowledge on entrepreneurship in a different light, resulting in a change of mindset of the participants in this direction.
The overall management of the program was supervised by Dr. Ramhari Lamichhane, Director General of CPSC and Dr. Suthep Chittayawong, Secretary General of the Office of the Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).
Program academic resources were provided by Prof. Romulita C. Alto, Ed.D, Faculty Consultant, CPSC as Program Coordinator and Resource Person. A lecture focusing on the Technology Incubation Centers was given by Mrs. Jerdruedee Chinvaroj, Director of OVEC's Bureau of Vocational Education Standards & Qualification. Local expertise was provided by Dr. Paichit Kultarnwattana who discussed on the relationship of creativity and technopreneurship. Local coordination was made possible through the facilitation of Ms. Siriyupa Phurirak and Mr. Laksasak Yangsaman from the Bureau of Policy and Planning, OVEC.
Themes tackled in the program included: (1) Concepts and definitions of Technopreneurship, (2) The anatomy and requirements of a Technopreneur, (3) relationship of creativity and technopreneurship and (4) the importance of "Technology Incubation Centers". In addition to the classroom lectures, a panel discussion on identified successful entrepreneurs were convened to directly communicate the benefits of being a technopreneur to the participants. Technopreneurs who were invited to share their experiences were Mr. Weerachai Unsakol, Mr. Andy Schvenberger, Mr. Nattapol Puhpasit and Mrs. Jerdrudee Chinveroj.
Action plans to undertake when they return to their institutions were thoroughly discussed in order to effectively incorporate the lessons of the program into actual practice. An actual visit to a winery farm and jam production that apply these concepts into practice was also part of the program.
After acquiring a vivid picture of technology entrepreneurship and the role of TVET in enhancing the skills for technopreneurship, the participants developed a draft checklist for self-assessment to determine one's preparedness for such endeavor. The participants formulated an action plan intended to enable their TVET institution to enhance the current role of TVET in developing a culture of technopreneurship.