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Science, tech the future for Việt Nam

Update: January, 22/2019 - 09:00
Experts work at the Vietnam-Japan Training and Technology Transfer Centre, which focus on robot industry and automation. Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said 2019 should be a big year for the science and technology sector. — VNA/VNS Photo Tiến Lực
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Science and Technology should raise awareness of the sector’s importance and promote the role of enterprises in 2019, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam has said.

Speaking at a conference of the ministry in Hà Nội on Monday, the Deputy PM emphasised the importance of proper awareness of the role of science and technology for national development.

"We have always said that science and technology is a national policy, a direct production force, but many policies in general have not really considered science and technology as the most important motivation and key for Việt Nam to escape the middle income trap for rapid and sustainable development,” Đam said.

“Awareness of the importance of science and technology does not only mean money or investment capital, but also changes in policy to thoroughly solve the difficulties in administrative procedures, financial mechanisms in scientific research,” he said.

Đam urged the ministry to have policies to encourage private sector to join science and technology activities by allocating funds smoothly and transparently for enterprises and individuals.

“When the tax and financial mechanisms are strong enough, the enterprises will truly be the centre of the national innovation system so they can focus on investment in science and technology and human resource training,” the Deputy PM said.

Noting the establishment of several private research institutes in Việt Nam last year as a good sign, Đam expected to see more internationally-published scientific research and intellectual properties coming from private firms, the connection among research institutes of private enterprises and those of the State and in universities equally so everyone can participate in science and technology research programmes.

Along with that, science and technology products of enterprises, not only products that are supported by the State, should be helped to penetrate the domestic and international markets, Đam said.

"We have had many national product development programmes, technological innovations, but basically there is no policy to encourage and support Vietnamese enterprises’ products to reach the domestic and world markets,” he added.

He asked the ministry to strengthen dialogues with enterprises and business associations to find solutions for obstacles.

Mentioning the insignificant science and technology activities in localities, the Deputy PM urged the ministry to solve problems in 2019, first by setting up a system of data collection and official evaluation on the local capacity of science and technology.

"Until now, local departments of science and technology sector just have information about allocating funds for science and technology activities but don’t yet grasp the technological level of enterprises in the area,” Đam said. “There must be a database to evaluate the real situation of science and technology in localities to have appropriate policies."

He also proposed the ministry to co-ordinate with other ministries and its local departments, saying the ministry should discuss with the Ministry of Education and Training to promote information technology in teaching programmes.

Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngọc Anh emphasised that in 2019, the ministry would help localities boost innovation and re-adjust national products to complete the tasks in 2019.

In 2018, the Việt Nam had nearly 8,400 international scientific publications compared to 6,202 in 2010. — VNS

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