Resolving obstacles in commercialization of research results

06:00 | 27/08/2020 Science - Technology

(VEN) - Inventions by scientific and technological universities and institutes are rarely translated into practical use in production, prompting calls for the state to promulgate mechanisms and policies in order to overcome difficulties in commercialization of research results.

resolving obstacles in commercialization of research results


Nguyen Minh Huyen Trang, deputy director of the Center for Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at the Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City, said the number of patent applications in Vietnam filed in 2019 increased by 51.7 percent compared to the previous year.

Commercialization of research results has improved, but only at some universities, such as Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, Ho Chi Minh City University of Agriculture and Forestry, and Industrial University of Ho Chi Minh City.

While many universities around the world view research activities as an important part of their operations, Vietnam’s universities have mostly focused on training. However, in recent years, with the government giving universities greater autonomy, they have created and provided useful products and services for the market with their own resources.

However, commercialization of research results from Vietnam’s universities remains ineffective because lecturers focus on their areas of interest rather than investigating whether they can meet the needs of enterprises. Some lecturers are reluctant to conduct research for fear that their findings may be stolen given the lack of adequate intellectual property protection and enforcement. Researchers are also not satisfied with profit sharing mechanisms.

In addition, the implementation of mechanisms for protection, management and exploitation of scientific research in universities and institutes remains inadequate. Many universities have yet set up departments for intellectual property protection and lack scientific and technological products with high applicability. Often, scientists and researchers are discouraged by regulations and policies from commercializing research results.

Patents and inventions

Scientists often seek to have more of their research translated into practical technology. The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam under the Ministry of Science and Technology received 7,290 patent applications in 2019, including 1,128 Vietnamese ones, an increase of 42 percent compared to a year ago.

Associate Professor Tran Doan Son from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, the author of three inventions honored in the latest Ho Chi Minh City Patent Award, said his inventions have been transferred to individuals and enterprises in Vietnam and sold abroad. He said inventions from universities and institutes should be financed for commercialization.

Huynh Kim Tuoc, director of the Saigon Innovation Hub, said that before being granted certificates, universities and institutes need to evaluate the feasibility of their findings in order to assess their commercial value, if any. Universities can also commercialize the results of their research and development (R&D), provide consultancy services to enterprises and lease facilities and equipment for research.

The government should have specific measures to enhance collaboration between universities, institutes and enterprises so that more research can be translated into practical technology. In addition, it is necessary to develop intermediary organizations to promote commercialization of research results. These intermediary organizations need to have specialized knowledge and be able to assess potential and prospects for each type of technology. In addition, they need to develop marketing campaigns to bring technologies to production sectors and promote technology transfer in a quick and smooth manner.

Associate Professor Tran Doan Son from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering under the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology emphasized the necessity of having a separate arena for scientists and enterprises to meet and exchange information, as well as fairs to display products and seek customers.

Thanh Thanh