Minister worries about talent attraction

09:58 | 12/02/2016 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said, “Vietnamese young people have many ideas and strong determination. They will achieve success if the state provides support in the form of resources. The country will face difficulties in the next five years if a wave of start-ups by the young is not enough strong” in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Quynh Nga.

Minister worries about talent attraction

What is your message to young people?

I have high expectations for Vietnamese young people as they have proved their skills and capability. Game designer Nguyen Ha Dong, who created the Flappy Bird game is a typical example. They don’t need state level projects or tasks to achieve successful start-ups. Many people said that they must be highly-qualified scientists or heads of large projects to be successful. However the young can achieve success in unbelievable conditions and history can be used to prove my words.

The most important thing people need to achieve success is creative freedom. We should not bind them by administrative regulations. Doing science needs sudden inspiration and indulgence, while taking all the time to pursue those ideas. Citizens have the right to do science in everywhere in the world. Nguyen Ha Dong is a typical example as he found success although not working in any multinational corporation.

We should encourage the young to accept failure, as doing science contains risks. Only 20 percent of the research projects in the US prove successful and are applied in practice. Failures in science are seen as a prerequisite for future success. The young should accept failures and make the most of opportunities.

What do you think about brain drain?
Science and technology at home have not yet provided opportunities for research students who have studied abroad. The most two important things are the working environment and treatment policies. They don’t want to work in research institutes with poor infrastructure and be saddled with low-level co-workers.

We have set out a target to pilot a research institute with the best working environment this year. Although high-level mathematics institute was introduced with higher regulations compared to other domestic institutes, it remained low compared to foreign countries. Therefore, we have not yet invited leading Vietnamese mathematicians to work in the institute.

The establishment of the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (VKIST) is a new pilot. We will also apply management mechanisms like the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), and even invite the former chairman of the KIST to work in the VKIST as a director. In addition to good earnings, the VKIST will create the best working environment and young scientists will have an opportunity to work in labs with modern equipment.

What are the main reasons for the slow implementation of VKIST?

Financial regulations for the VKIST have not yet issued as many people said that the VKIST required higher regulations compared to other domestic institutes. The construction of the VKIST will be no need if the state remains keeping old regulations as it has proved inefficiency. To attract the best Vietnamese scientists and ensure effective operations, we need to establish a research institute in a new manner.

I remain patient about the need to convince the Ministry of Finance to issue financial regulations for the VKIST. If financial regulations are missing, all things will be meaningless, including pouring several trillions of Vietnamese dong into the construction of the VKIST. The introduction of financial regulations is seen as a prerequisite for the construction and development of the VKIST.

Many people said that working anywhere in the world is the same. However, research projects that could be implemented in the US would be difficult to deploy in Vietnam and its contributions are included in gross domestic product of the US. An international article with a Vietnamese author or technology transfer is seen as an indirect activity in the development of the country. If young scientists work in Vietnam, they will make direct contributions to the country. 

Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan:

I am proud of Vietnamese people as their potential and levels are equivalent to other nations. They will achieve success if the state issues good mechanisms and policies.


Quynh Nga