The dialogue between the robot and the authors of the Vietnam's anti-pandemic helmet (Vihelm) at the opening ceremony of the Youth Start-up Forum 2020. (Photo: DUC ANH)
Nearly five years since May 18, 2016, when the Prime Minister approved the project on “Supporting the national innovation start-up ecosystem until 2025”, Vietnam’s science and technology sector has indeed made a flourishing step in innovation. The words "start-up" and "innovation" have gradually become familiar and quickly formed a movement among students and young people.
According to the Business Registration Management Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Vietnam witnessed more than 126,000 newly established enterprises each year in the 2016-2019 period, an increase of 1.6 times compared to the 2011-2015 period. Of which, there were more than 3,000 start-ups.
According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, Vietnam has the third-highest number of start-ups in Southeast Asia and ranks in top 20 economies with high entrepreneurship.
Dr. Pham Van Tan, former Vice President - General Secretary of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations said that, in recent years, Vietnam has always maintained economic growth at a relatively high level compared to other countries in the region and the world and mobilised resources to shift economic structure in a positive direction. Vietnam's economic growth has gradually decreased its dependence on natural resource exploitation, raw exports and credit expansion while gradually relying more on science, technology and innovation.
In addition to the Vietnam Fund for Supporting Technological Creations (Vifotec), the annual Vietnam Science and Technology Innovation Awards (WIPO) and the maturity of the innovative start-up ecosystem, Techfest Vietnam has had nearly six years of development. During this period, the programme has attracted more than 20,000 participants, 2,600 start-ups, and 1,000 domestic and international visitors.
With the theme "Adaptation - Transformation - Breakthrough", Techfest Vietnam 2020 continued to convey the message of previous years on connecting and converging domestic and international resources to support start-ups in the context of common difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite determination and open mechanism, Vietnam also faces many challenges.
The World Bank (WB) recently says that the quality of Vietnam's human resources currently reaches only 3.39 out of 10 points while that of the Republic of Korea is 6.91, India is 5.76, Malaysia is 5.59 and Thailand is 4.94.
Thus, the key to success is still the human factor, particularly in the context that our country is transforming its growth model towards developing knowledge economy and promoting innovation. The training to improve the quality of human resources will help improve the ability to transfer and absorb technology.
Pham Thanh Huy, Rector of Phenikaa University, proposed that the National Development Strategy should build specific solutions to improve the quality of education and training at the undergraduate and postgraduate level, create reasonable and synchronous mechanisms and policies to attract and utilise high-quality human resources and invest in promoting scientific research and technology transfer activities at universities.
It is also necessary to formulate policies to encourage scientific research, technology transfer and innovation in universities, improve the capacity to absorb, master and apply technology in enterprises, support the commercialisation of research results, intellectual property and innovation projects in enterprises, Huy noted.
Regarding the science and technology policy in the future, many experts recommend that it is advisable to quickly increase the technological capacity and the technological content of products and services, with the focus on research and development (R&D), capacity to apply technology of enterprises, especially small and medium-sized enterprises.
It is also important to develop and form a science and technology market with diverse and competitive suppliers while quickly perfecting the law on intellectual property to ensure the transparency, reliability and effectiveness of State management.
With the achieved results, we all have the right to hope and believe in a developed Vietnamese science and technology sector with breakthroughs in the future.