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The International College of Digital Innovation (ICDI) was approved and established by a Resolution of the Chiang Mai University Council, dated 25th March 2017, to be one of Chiang Mai University academic units. The CMU Council Resolution was published in the Royal Gazette, 25th April 2017.

The 21st Century has been seen as an era of digital economy whereby very high speed broadband internet plays a pivotal role in practically nearly all aspects of human life. Thailand has acknowledged it by shaping her economic and social policy accordingly – otherwise known as Thailand 4.0. The ICDI was granted a government budget of 2017 and 2018 fiscal years – a digital economy budget – to set up pioneering systems in 10 new S-Curves, namely, Smart Tourism, Smart Logistics, Smart Farmer, Smart Aging, and Smart Education. An ultimate goal of the digital economy budget given to the ICDI is to make Chiang Mai a Smart City. In that, the digital technology is being deployed in those areas. Besides, Big Data is being collected and analyzed through devices connected with internet system (Internet of Things) such as smart phone and CCTV, to making precise prediction, and thus a reliable and meaningful decision. This serves as a proper ecosystem for students to learn, and a source of academic service of Chiang Mai University to share.

The ICDI proposed to the CMU Council three degree curricula, namely, Bachelor of Science Program in Digital Innovation, Master of Science Program in Digital Innovation and Financial Technology, and Doctor of Philosophy Program in Digital Innovation and Financial Technology. The three curricula were approved by the CMU Academic Council in May 2018.

The three degree curricula were drawn with the view to producing graduates capable of successfully working in the digital technology-driven society. The ICDI has worked closely with university faculties, private and government entities at both national and international level whose disciplines and expertise directly relevant to those targeted 10 S-Curves industries including 5 new S-Curves industries (Robotics, Aviation and Logistics, Biofuel and Biochemistry, Digital Industries, and Medical Hub). It also strives for excellence of deploying digital technology to incubating and supporting businesses and trades to its commercial and financial success locally and internationally - the businesses become world-wide marketable and competitive. As such, Chiang Mai’s economy, as well as Thailand’s economy as a whole, is expected to grow fast and steady.

The ICDI has continued original mission assigned to it, the International College as it then was, as follows: 1) administer exchange program scholarships, namely, AUN-ACTS, AIMS, and IAESTE. 2) support an improvement of students’ English proficiency skills based upon the Common European Framework of Reference for Language, CEFR, coupled with the 21st Century skills. 3) SEED Project. The project was design to support overseas students at CMU to gain optimal knowledge in different areas ranging from academic, culture and social life. There are at least 21 activities in it.

The ICDI comprises of three major offices, namely, first, Academic Office of Digital Innovation, secondly, Office of General Administration, and thirdly, Centre of Research and International Academic Services.