|The two-day forum was held as part of the Innovation Partnership Programme between the governments of Finland and Viet Nam.— Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam should strive to create an environment of innovation that can push for further research development at companies and the public sector alike, experts at the Viet Nam-Finland Innovation Forum said yesterday.
The two-day forum was held as part of the Innovation Partnership Programme between the governments of Finland and Viet Nam.
Started in 2009, the first phase, which ended this year, encouraged Vietnamese enterprises to engage in innovation and create linkages with government agencies and research institutes.
"The future of Viet Nam is very much dependent on our innovation performance, how the private sector will be able to generate new solutions to market problems," said the Minister of Science and Technology, Nguyen Quan.
Raine Hermans, head of Strategic Programmes at TEKES, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, said Finland in 2010 put more than 7 billion euros (US$9.5 billion) into research development, which equalled 3.9 per cent of its GDP.
TEKES has about 550 million euros ($746 million) allocated for innovative development this year.
According to the European Union Innovation Scoreboard 2013, Finland, Denmark, Germany and Sweden are considered innovation pioneers in Europe.
Hermans said innovation should not be treated as a vague concept, but rather to create new knowledge and products.
He claimed 68 per cent of TEKES funding in 2012 went to support small-and-medium enterprises and that one euro from TEKES could create 21 euros in generated revenues.
Finnish Ambassador Kimmo Lahdevirta said enterprises were the drivers of innovation and success was sustained by the right public policies and appropriate public institutions.
"Our task ahead is to create more decent jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurship."
Lahdevirta also said that Finland would continue to support innovations in Viet Nam until 2018, with investment of an additional 10 million euros.
However, he said more must be done to scale up innovation work within enterprises, the private sector and to create a National Innovation System in Viet Nam.
Ta Doan Trinh, director of the National Institute for Science and Technology Police and Strategy Studies, said innovation policy must go beyond the development of science and technology.
"The business environment in our country has not created the level of competitiveness to push businesses for further innovative activities. Some of our businesses have many special privileges, so they lack motivation to innovate," he said.
"Viet Nam must develop a national innovation system that takes into account the real demand of businesses and study the application of potential products". — VNS