HCM CITY — A seminar in HCM City yesterday highlighted the benefits to the economy from business incubators and encouraged businesses to join incubator networks.
Delegates say business incubators are still a relatively new concept in Viet Nam and it requires universities to promote them.
Nguyen Hai An, director of the Centre for Business Incubation of Agricultural High Technology run by the HCM City-based Agricultural Hi-Tech Park, said: "The functions of business incubators include reducing risks and investment costs and increasing the business start-up rate."
Besides, they also helped new commodities, business models, and technologies, he said.
They offered new businesses opportunities for research co-operation and testing services, training courses, information, and consultancy services, he said.
Dang My Chau of the TOPICA Education Group said business incubation has become a major movement in the Asia-Pacific.
China boasted of the largest number of incubators (670) and incubated companies (45,000), she said.
In Viet Nam around 11 incubators have been set up and they had huge potential, she said.
They include the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Business Incubator run by the Sai Gon Hi-Tech Park, Quang Trung Software Business Incubator run by the eponymous software park, HCM City University of Agriculture and Forestry's Technology Business Incubator, and HCM City University of Technology's Science and Technology Business Incubator.
"When they join a incubator network, businesses receive financial, technological, organisational, and management support during the incubation process, ensuring sustainable growth when they operate independently," Chau added.
An said the Centre for Business Incubation of Agricultural High Technology would help individuals and organisations with sound agricultural business projects.
"Enterprises up to two years old are also eligible for assistance", he said.
Mai Thanh Phong, director of the HCM City University of Technology's incubator, said business incubators play the role of a bridge linking businesses, universities and other institutions, and government agencies to help businesses overcome difficulties related to research and use of new technologies.
"Business incubators will be a factor in promoting science and technology in the country, especially HCM City," he said.
The sectors that the university incubator prioritises include bio-technology, food technologies, environmental technologies, information technology, automation, and renewable energies.
In the two years since it began operation, the centre has incubated eight businesses.
Five of them have been set up as a legal entity with an average annual turnover of VND500 million (US$23,800) each, Phong said.
Three out of the five have signed contracts and carried out technology transfers worth billions of dong, he said.
Apart from providing consultancy and training to businesses, the centre also seek markets for technology businesses.
For instance, it surveyed the domestic market and foreign ones, especially in Africa, that are thought to be a potential destination for Vietnamese technologies.
The seminar was organised by the Centre for Business Incubation of Agricultural High Technology in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union's Youth Science and Technology Development Centre and HCM City University of Technology's Science and Technology Business Incubator. — VNS