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Official Gazette

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Ministry's policies to ensure enterprises are at center of innovation system

Updated: 09:30’ - 24/01/2023
“Putting enterprises at the center” is an important policy orientation that has posed many challenges for the science and technology industry in recent years. On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat talks to Tin Tuc Newspaper about some of the solutions that will help businesses play a pivotal role in building innovation incentives.
 
What advantages and challenges will the science and technology sector face in the implementation of putting enterprises at the center?
 
In meetings with businesses at forums organized by the Ministry of Science and Technology (Science and Technology), as well as many other units, I noticed that Vietnamese businesses are beginning to put their faith in science and technology and consider it as one of the prerequisite solutions for them to rise.
 
Businesses have never before needed technology solutions like today, and scientists have never wanted to transfer their research products as much as now. This is an important advantage for us to spread the spirit of "enterprise at the center of the national innovation system".
 
Over the past year, the Ministry of Science and Technology has worked closely with relevant ministries and agencies to jointly design policies to promote the policy "enterprises as the center of the national innovation system". These policies are all based on the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation Development to 2030, in which the activities of building the national innovation system as well as developing the capacity of institutes and universities all aim at creating an open environment, so that research results of universities can be transferred to businesses or businesses can co-operate with universities and institutes to solve their technological innovation problems.
 
I hope that, over time, policy innovations will bring about major changes for both businesses and institutions.
 
In addition, the Ministry of Science and Technology has restructured the national science and technology program system so businesses can easily access and participate in finding technological solutions for themselves. This improves their own capacity through a planning network of public organizations from the local to central level, as well as science and technology organizations in universities.
 
This allows them to allocate budget investment resources effectively, look up information, and actively approach researchers and scientific organizations in line with their development plans.

Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat__Photo: VNA
 

Could you be more specific about the criteria and objectives for restructuring the National Science and Technology Program?
 
The plan to restructure the national science and technology programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology still shares the same perspective of "entering the enterprise as the center of the national innovation system".
 
Looking at the world, we all see that technology solutions, whether on corporate campuses or in institutions, all meet at one point: the more breakthroughs promised, the more risk involved. The more perfectly the solution is packaged according to optimal standards; the more steps must be developed, requiring a lot of time and effort. However, the previous design of the national science and technology programs did not accept risks or allow long-term investment.
 
Therefore, when carrying out the restructuring of the national science and technology program this time, the Ministry of Science and Technology has designed topics and tasks to create new technologies and solutions that can be implemented within ten years instead of five years. The program will promote research, transfer and application of science and technology advances in the spirit of risk-taking, ensuring the principles of publicity, transparency, and fairness to create conditions for product contracting and post-inspection, closely associating with promoting innovation in enterprises and output products.
 
Also, in this restructuring plan, the Ministry of Science and Technology, together with relevant ministries and branches, discussed removing obstacles to speed up the process of reviewing and approving topics, payment procedures and issues of handling legal assets from the project funded by the state budget to transfer or return to the state.
 
In the immediate future, the Ministry of Science and Technology will replace a series of circulars to remove the previous complicated regulations. However, we all know there are still some regulations in other circulars, decrees of the Government and some laws, so it takes a lot of effort to amend and synchronize between legal documents.
 
We hope that in the coming time, all obstacles will be cleared so that we can expect a wave of technology and innovation from schools, institutes, universities, and businesses.
 
In parallel with restructuring the national science and technology program in the spirit of taking business as the center, what important policies have we had to promote enterprises to invest in R&D by themselves?
 
To encourage enterprises to invest in science and technology, promote innovation and improve competitiveness, the Ministry of Science and Technology has issued a policy to encourage enterprises to set up a science and technology fund from pre-tax income. However, when designing these policies, we are still based on the view of businesses as public science and technology institutions in universities and an approach that still considers technological innovation issues at enterprises as the tasks of science and technology organizations. This is one of the important reasons why the application of the policy faces many obstacles, making this policy not as successful as expected.
 
To solve this problem, the Ministry of Science and Technology recently issued Circular 05/2022/TT-BKHCN guiding the use of enterprises' science and technology fund, which provides more open and autonomous conditions for using the fund for businesses.
 
According to this circular, there are very clear regulations on the form of spending for science and technology by enterprises, with the scope extending from equipping physical and technical facilities for science and technology activities, purchasing the right to use and own technology, hiring experts or contract with science and technology organizations, spending on training science and technology human resources. Therefore, opportunities for businesses to invite scientists from universities and institutes to solve business problems are also very clear.
 
What policies do we have to create conditions for businesses to effectively exploit the intellectual property from the program?
 
To help businesses access new technologies and facilitate the process of technology transfer from institutes and universities to enterprises, the most effective way is to facilitate the opening of intellectual property recognized by the public from a research project funded by the state budget.
 
Regulations on registration rights in the previous Intellectual Property Law have not encouraged the creation, exploitation and dissemination of state-invested inventions, industrial designs and layout designs.
 
In the past year, the Ministry of Science and Technology revised the Law on Intellectual Property to automatically grant the right to register inventions, industrial designs and layout designs to organizations. This will address the current legal and practical shortcomings.
 
As technology transfer activities to commercialize inventions, industrial designs, and layout designs develop, enterprises have more conditions to improve their capacity, apply new technologies, create new products, and be competitive in the market. There is a double consequence of bringing revenue to the state budget through corporate income tax and other economic and social benefits, promoting the development of industries and creating jobs for workers.
 
It is this development that will return to promote the development of science and technology in universities and research institutes. At that time, strong research groups and technology development centers are vital components contributing to the national innovation system.- (VNS/VLLF)
 

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