Ho Chi Minh City forges ahead with creative innovation activities

06:00 | 19/07/2020 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is in the final stages of preparing a four-year plan to boost its innovation ecosystems.

ho chi minh city forges ahead with creative innovation activities

Many start-ups have grown from creative innovation activities

Busy creative innovation activities

The HCMC Department of Science & Technology has worked with sci-tech organizations and enterprises to promote technological innovations in order to improve product quality. These activities link scientific technological research and knowledge transfers from businesses, universities and institutes to develop and commercialize specific products.

Vietnam National University Ho Chi Minh City, for example, has cooperated with the Traditional Medicine Institute of Ho Chi Minh, the Natural Medicinal Chemistry Co., Ltd., and Bao Thach Medical Equipment Joint Stock Company to research and develop biological film for wound healing and bee venom injections for treating arthritis. Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology has signed a contract with the Bibica Joint Stock Company, Orgalife Nutritional Science Co., Ltd. to develop dietary foods for diabetics and weaning food for babies.

The city’s innovative startup ecosystem has connected over 40 startup supporting organizations, established data sharing platforms among 134 research centers, 626 professionals, and 275 scientific-technological centers.

HCMC has also formed five innovative startup spaces, connected 24 incubation centers in the city, while creating four management boards for innovative startup ecosystems in the four key fields of information technology, mechanics, food processing, and plastics–rubber–chemicals. As a result, nearly 650 startup enterprises were successful in attracting capital and commercializing their own products after an incubation period.

ho chi minh city forges ahead with creative innovation activities

Foreign cooperation

So far, 3,142 enterprises in HCMC have completed training in performance management tools and innovative tools; 759 companies have consulted on how to boost their product quality and administrate intellectual property; 81 research projects on technology and product upgrading have been supported; and 15 projects have received help from the investment stimulus program.

According to Deputy Director of HCMC Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Khac Thanh, the department is completing a project on developing innovative startups during the 2021-2025 period. It focuses on improving infrastructure and support services, establishing innovative startup ecosystems for key industries in HCMC, helping enterprises commercialize their research results, helping small- and medium-scaled enterprises increase their performance, quality, and creativity; and encouraging innovation in the public sector.

Promoting innovation is expected to enhance business competitiveness and increase the proportion of Total Factor Productivity (TFP) in the Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP) to over 40 percent annually.

HCMC is also cooperating with other nations to increase the quality of startup activities. It has partnered with New Zealand’s Consulate General to organize training sessions on ecosystem design for startup companies; collaborated with the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) in the 2018-2021 period on policies to boost innovative startup activities, and worked with the World Federation of Overseas Korean Traders Association (World-OKTA) and Busan United Management of Technology Center (BUH) on technology transfers.

According to Director of the Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) Huynh Kim Tuoc, SIBUB was the first state model to aid startup communities in Vietnam by pooling and linking resources. From 2016 to 2019, the organization offered support for 2,230 startup projects from the product perfecting stage through business models identification and market connection. SIHUB is now participating in other startup schemes, such as the Vietnam-Finland Innovative Partnership Program (IPP), and the Vietnam Silicon Valley Startup Accelerator Program to gain valuable experience and seek collaboration projects with developed nations.

Vietnam ranked in 42nd place of 129 in the 2019 Global Innovation Index (GII), an increase of 17 positions compared

to 2016. It also occupied third place among ASEAN member states and topped the list of innovators among lower

middle-income countries.

Ngoc Thao