If enterprises are to be the central player in innovation and creativity, they should change their thinking towards creating new products, adopting new management methods and new approaches to enter the global market.— Photo bnews.vn
Phạm Hồng Thái, Head of the General Department for Market Development and Business, speaks to the newspaper Việt Nam Economic Times on the need to have a close link between scientists and enterprises.
Would you tell us about the Ministry of Science and Technology’s plan to bring scientific and technological innovation to reality?
The process of realising research results is based on three key elements - universities, research institutes and enterprises. However, research institutes and enterprises are the most important, particularly the use of available human resources available at universities and research institutes.
Following experience from a number of countries, particularly developed countries, former students, lecturers or researchers are key to linking enterprises and research institutes by placing orders for the latter to work.
However, such personal relationships often do not last long, as the enterprises often need comprehensive solutions. In such cases, universities and research institutes need to have organisations acting as mediators, on their behalf, in gathering demands from enterprises and then organising them based on their expertise and capacity. In my opinion, the role of such professional mediators is very important in matching the end users of scientific innovation with developers.
How did this process work in 2016?
I would say in 2016 relations between universities or research institutes and enterprises were very good. Many contracts were signed between them. For example, at the 2016 Techfest, some 250 transactions took place between attendees, an increase of 150 percent over the transactions of the previous years’ Techfest.
However, in my opinion, the government should adopt policies to help turn initial relationships into scientific and technological products that can compete in a market economy.
What’s more important is how to develop transaction places for these scientific innovations towards the development of an ecological system for science and technology.
What will the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development do to help create a strong ecological system to support enterprises, particularly startups?
To create a linkage is the most important step in creating a strong ecological system. It is an important link between enterprises, universities, and scientists; between investors and startups or between the State and the private sector.
In 2017, my agency will come up with synchronised measures to speed up the development of an ecological system on the basis of harmonising the interest of all parties involved. I’m confident that having an ecological system in place, it will help to create a good linkage nationwide.
If 2016 was the year for startups, what will be the focus for this year?
The strong startup movement among young Vietnamese entrepreneurs in 2016 will continue in 2017. In my opinion, the startup spirit has spread nationwide and it has enjoyed strong support – materially and spiritually from society, from the top down to the grass roots levels. In my opinion, innovation cannot be absent in the startup campaign. I’m confident that new technology, new intellectual property and new ways of doing business will help Việt Nam achieve a high growth rate this year.
What message do you want to send to enterprises in 2017?
If enterprises are to be the central player in innovation and creativity, they should change their thinking towards creating new products, adopting new management methods and new approaches to enter the global market.
Supporting government agencies for enterprises should keep close contact with enterprises to know what they want and need so that they will come up with appropriate policies based on the interests of all parties concerned. —VNS