From right to left: Cheng Niruttinanon executive chairman TUF, Duangjai  Asawachintachit, deputy secretary general, Board of Investment (BOI), Professor Dr. Skorn Mongkolsuk  dean of Science Faculty, Mahidol University, Thiraphong Chansiri  president and CEO TUF, Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Tunyawat  Kasemsuwan, global innovation director

From right to left: Cheng Niruttinanon executive chairman TUF, Duangjai Asawachintachit, deputy secretary general, Board of Investment (BOI), Professor Dr. Skorn Mongkolsuk dean of Science Faculty, Mahidol University, Thiraphong Chansiri president and CEO TUF, Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Tunyawat Kasemsuwan, global innovation director

Seafood group Thai Union Frozen Products has opened its first innovation centre as it works to grow its business and develop value-added products.

The company said it was investing more than THB100m in what called a "global innovation incubator".

The centre will focus on innovation to "improve" both manufacturing processes and product categories, TUF added.

R&D work will start next month. "Our target is to come up with new innovation within one to two years for the world to see. The first focus area will be the development of raw materials and tuna-based products for the maximum benefit for global consumers," Dr. Tunyawat Kasemsuwan, TUF's global innovation director, said.

President and CEO Thirapong Chansiri insisted he believed investing in technology and innovation would boost TUF's "business competitive advantage and strengthen our position in the global seafood industry".

He added: "We need to leverage cutting-edge technology to further develop our production processes and value-added product portfolio in order to achieve optimum efficiency and create most sustainable growth. The global innovation incubator is a catalyst of our business and industry development. Innovation is one of Thai Union's core strategies which will help accelerate our ambitious goal of $8bn in annual revenues in the next six years."

TUF has worked on the project with Mahidol University in Bangkok. Professor Dr. Skorn Mongkolsuk, Dean of the Faculty of Science at the university, said: "Mahidol University has pooled its resources and faculty comprising the nation's leading research scientists for the global innovation incubator, working together to raise level of competitiveness of Thailand's food industry to international standards. Such initiatives will lead to a better quality of life, food security, job creation, better economy and society and Thailand's ability to compete on the global stage."