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Official Gazette

Monday, November 18, 2019

Toward a new circular regulating intermediary organizations in Vietnam’s science and technology market

Updated: 16:00’ - 04/05/2019
A draft circular replacing Circular 16/2014/TT-BKHCN dated June 13, 2014, of the Minister of Science and Technology, will be finalized very soon. This new circular stipulates favorable conditions for the establishment and operation of intermediary organizations in Vietnam’s science and technology market in the coming time.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tran Van Nam
Dean, Faculty of Law, National Economics University, Hanoi[1]

The need to replace Circular 16/2014/TT-BKHCN

On June 13, 2014, the Minister of Science and Technology issued Circular 16/2014/TT-BKHCN on the conditions for establishment and operation of intermediary organizations of the science and technology market (Circular 16), aiming to form a network of intermediary organizations promoting consultancy and brokerage activities in technology transfer and commercialization of research results. After four years of implementing the Circular, the purpose of establishing the network has basically not been achieved due to the setting of conditions associated with the operation registration procedures.

In the context of cutting administrative procedures, strengthening support to develop intermediary organizations for the science and technology market, and the innovative ecosystem, it is no longer appropriate for any conditions and procedures for establishment and operation registration for intermediary organizations.

Vietnam International Advertising Equipment and Technology Exhibition (VietAd) is held in Hanoi on March 20-22__Photo: Internet

The 2017 Law on Technology Transfer and its guiding text, Decree 76 of 2018, stipulate that an intermediary organization eligible for receiving support must be an organization performing such functions as connection and brokerage, consulting, and valuation. They do not set conditions for each type of intermediary and procedures for establishment and operation registration. Instead, they regulate support mechanisms (eligible subjects, contents, forms, sources of support, etc.) in order to improve the capacity and promote the operation of intermediary organizations in the market, thereby forming a network that can connect, share resources and information, etc. However, the support contents should continue to be concretized as a basis for determining support levels in financial documents of related programs and projects.

Therefore, replacing Circular 16 towards establishing support contents is an urgent requirement to meet practical requirements.

Functions of intermediary organizations

Intermediary organizations should be functioned to provide consulting and brokerage services, carry out technology transfer promotion, commercialization of scientific research and technological development results, technology assessment, evaluation and assessment; incubation of technology and incubation of science and technology enterprises according to the law on technology transfer.

Intermediary organizations should also provide innovative start-up support services, including:

(i) Advising organizations and individuals on how to improve and innovate technology, technology products, business models, to manage, exploit and commercialize intellectual property;

(ii) Providing services to support organizations and individuals in selecting, acquiring, decoding, mastering and improving technologies;

(iii) Providing consulting and training on scientific research and technological development; completion, application and commercialization of technology; business startup, corporate governance, market development, branding, and intellectual property management; and,

(iv) Investment, investment capital raising, and support of financing and credit for incubation and commercialization of science and technology enterprises;

An intermediary organization performing the functions specified in this draft circular may be organized in the forms of technology exchange, technology transfer office, technology incubator or other entities conformable with the current regulations.

Areas of support for intermediary organizations

Firstly, intermediary organizations will be provided with support based on the value of brokerage contracts, consultancy, promotion of science and technology market, technology commercialization, results of scientific research and development.

Secondly, they will be given with priority in participation in programs and projects that support the promotion of science and technology market development and commercialization of scientific research and technological and intellectual property results, innovative start-up and other related programs and projects funded by the state budget.

Thirdly, intermediary organizations  will receive support for organization of and participation in various events at home and abroad, including:

(i) Support for holding and joining workshops on technology transfer and commercialization; technology and equipment market (Techmart); supply-demand technology demonstration (tech demo); exhibitions introducing technology, results of scientific research and technological development; investment day for technology commercialization (Demo Day), Startup Day, Innovation Day, invention exhibition; science and technology commercialization potential exhibition (Techshow); and

(ii) Support to cover renting costs of local and international exhibitions for the promotion of the science and technology market and technology commercialization.

Fourthly, intermediary organizations will be entitled to support for innovative start-ups, including:

(i) Support to cover the cost of using equipment at technical facilities;

(ii) Support to pay fee for participation in incubation facilities and co-working space;

(iii) Support under consultancy contracts on procedures for establishment, transfer and protection of intellectual property rights;

(iv) Support under consultancy contracts on the formulation and implementation of intellectual property policies and strategies;

(v) Support based on the value of consultancy contracts on design, protection registration, exploitation and development of the value of inventions, industrial designs and trademarks;

(vi) Support based on the value of consultancy contracts on the formulation of in-house standards; and

(vii) Support for testing, verification, inspection and quality certification costs.

Technology transfer intermediary services including technology brokerage, consulting, promotion together with technology assessment, and evaluation services constitute a continuous chain and a key to success of technology transfer. Promoting the development of technology transfer services is one of the most urgent requirements today. Vietnam is in the period of accelerating industrialization and modernization, thus, issuing new sub-law documents to support technology transfer services provided by intermediary organizations will help to fill the gap between Vietnam with other economies in the region.- (VLLF)
1. Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam’s report on science and technology activities in 2018 and action plan for 2019, Hanoi, November 2018.
2. Tran Van Nam (2017), Current situations and legal solutions to promote technology transfer services in Vietnam,  Tạp chí Nhân lực Khoa học xã hội, No 03 - 2017 (pp.3-13).
3. Tran Van Nam (2018), Perfecting regulations on intermediaries’ activities to develop science - technology market, Tạp chí Nghiên cứu Lập pháp, No. 03 - 2018 (pp.89 - 94).
4. Tran Van Nam (2018), Strengthen legal roles of intermediaries for a Real Breakthrough of technology transfer in Vietnam, The 2018 ASLI Conference, Law in Asia, looking into the future; Seoul National University; May 2018.
5.Tran Van Nam, co-editor (2018), Intellectual Property Law Textbook;. National Economics University Press. Chapter 4 Li-xang and technology transfer contracts (pp.215 - 242).-

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