|IPP project director Tran Quoc Thang.— Photo truyenthongkhoahoc
HA NOI (VNS) — The second phase of the Finland-Vietnam Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP) was introduced to interested Vietnamese organisations, individuals and teams at a workshop in Ha Noi yesterday.
IPP, which is an official development assistance (ODA) programme financed jointly by governments of Viet Nam and Finland, entered its second phase in 2014 and will conclude in 2018.
Speaking at the workshop, IPP project director Tran Quoc Thang said Viet Nam can achieve sustainable development through not only infrastructure improvement and poverty elimination but also by building creative innovation systems.
"Technological innovation is crucial for development. Finland is the first country to offer an ODA to Viet Nam to develop national creative innovation," he said. "During the second phase, the programme will support the boosting of innovative activities at enterprises and help them achieve sustainable development to make contributions to national socio-economic growth."
IPP also assists projects for new innovative growth at companies targeting international markets and at consortia that develop the local innovation system.
Riku Makela, IPP's senior innovation advisor, said organisations hoping to receive funds from IPP must have a clear plan about what they will do with the support and the activities for which the funds will be used.
"Innovations supported by IPP must meet the following criteria: They have to be novel and innovative. The innovations must be scalable solutions with long-term operations," he said, adding that their products should target international markets.
Makela also expressed his strong belief that some companies participating in the program can conquer international markets, become billion-dollar firms and support others.
He took the achievement of Finnish company Rovio, famous for its Angry Birds game, as an example. He said Rovio had followed a certain process to achieve success, which consisted of defining the needs of customers and stakeholders, finding solutions, imparting benefits, and having direct/indirect competition, as well as possessing adequate human and financial resources.
Rovio created the game in 2009 when it realised that there were no games available for families to play on mobile phones. During 2009 to 2010, it decided to become a global brand after achieving a million downloads of its game on mobile phones. The company has awarded licences for various companies to use the Angry Birds image and has earned considerable profits from it.
Similar workshops will be organised in HCM City on January 9, in Can Tho on January 12 and in Da Nang on January 14.
The funding calls will open in spring 2015, and the first funding decision will be made by the summer. The winners will be carefully selected from proposals, based on a market need assessment and the firm's capacity to implement the new innovation. — VNS