11:05 | 15/05/2019 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Vietnam is focusing heavily on tapping its scientific and technological potential to promote the country’s socioeconomic development, but is experiencing a shortage of financial resources.
Increasing budget spending is not the solution, given the need to reduce government overspending and ensure medium- and long-term financial security. Vietnam therefore needs to diversify its financial resources, especially investment from businesses and international organizations.
According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, state budget spending for scientific and technological activities has accounted for about 1.36 -1.52 percent of total expenditure. Total social investment for scientific and technological activities has reached about 1.08 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), of which state budget spending accounts for 52 percent, and investment from businesses for the rest. Financial channels have also been established to support research institutes, universities and businesses through national scientific and technological funds.
Countries with more developed science and technology have a greater proportion of investment in science and technology from the non-state sector. The state budget only ensures funding for basic research and the common benefit of the nation. Therefore, positive shift in investment structure for scientific and technological activities in Vietnam is praiseworthy.
The proliferation of scientific and technological organizations is proof of Vietnam’s development in these fields. Vietnam currently has 640 scientific and technological organizations operating autonomously, with many reaching revenues of several hundred billion Vietnamese dong per year, such as the National Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Vietnam Petroleum Institute, Institute of Energy and Mining Mechanical Engineering, and National Institute of Mining-Metallurgy Science and Technology.
Human resources in the science and technology sector have also developed in both quantity and quality. According to the Ministry of Science and Technology data, some 167,746 people nationwide are involved in research and development (R&D) activities. The total includes 14,376 doctoral degree holders, 51,128 master’s degree holders, and 60,719 university graduates.
In addition, many Vietnamese intellectuals living and working abroad have made significant contributions to the country’s scientific and technological development. In 2018, the Asian Scientist Magazine named two Vietnamese - Professor Phan Thanh Son Nam and Associate Professor Nguyen Sum - in its published list of 100 leading scientists in Asia.
In 2019, the key task of the Ministry of Science and Technology is to raise social investment capital for science,
technology and innovation, especially investment from business firms.