Viet Nam will have up to 10,000 businesses that participate in application of modern science and technology achievements by 2015 if an action programme by the Government succeeds.
The programme, initiated by the Ministry of Science and Technology, seeks to create an impetus for the development of science and technology in upcoming years.
It also seeks to help provinces and cities draft their own science and technology application development plans and provide financial support to 50 science and technology transfer centres to help them realise their business well.
To achieve the objectives, the ministry plans to set up a national fund to help small and medium-sized enterprises obtain and upgrade technologies and train their scientific and technical workforce.
The fund, to use money from the state budget and voluntary contributions by organisations and individuals, will also help speed up technology transfers in poor rural and mountainous areas.
It will offer loans at low or no interest to eligible enterprises and provide them guarantees if they borrow from other sources for renewing technologies.
Minister of Science and Technology Hoang Van Phong says to foster science and technology development, it is necessary to improve scientists' research capabilities and that of enterprises to obtain and apply technologies.
Science and technology will only develop when there is widespread use by enterprises, Phong says.
According to the ministry, there are nearly 1,500 scientific research institutes and centres in the country which employ 2.6 million people, including 60,000 those who directly doing research.
They have made a significant contribution to the country's socio-economic development, defence, political security, and social order.
They have managed to make cutting-edge innovations, including diagnostic equipment for diseases caused by viruses.
They have also provided domestic shipyards the technologies required to build ships of up to 100,000 tonnes.
The country has managed to send the Vinasat 1 satellite into space and has become the world's second biggest exporter of coffee and rice.
Despite such successes, there are barriers to the transfer and application of scientific and technical advancements, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Le Dinh Tien says.
They are mainly the result of the low investment in science and technology by the Government while the corporate sector seems to ignore research and application, he says.
The quality of science and research personnel is modest, with the country having few top experts, he says.
Most science and technology research institutes lag behind international and regional standards, he adds. — VNS