Strategic Innovation for National Development

10:30:29 AM | 11/14/2023

The inauguration ceremony of the newly established operational facility of the National Innovation Center (NIC) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, coupled with the grand opening of the Vietnam International Innovation Exhibition 2023 (VIIE 2203) at the Hoa Lac High-Tech Park in Hanoi, signifies a significant milestone in the cultivation of Vietnam's innovation ecosystem.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and delegates inaugurate the National Innovation Center (NIC)

Facilitating the advancement of science, technology, and innovation

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has underscored the profound importance of this event as it materializes the guidelines and policies set forth by the Party and the State in advancing the fields of science, technology, and innovation.

"Innovation is an inescapable trend, a strategic leap forward for our nation, and a vital requirement to fulfill our vision of a powerful, prosperous nation with content and joyful citizens," emphasized Prime Minister Chinh.

Reflecting on nearly four decades of reform and integration, Vietnam has achieved remarkable historical milestones, propelling the nation into the ranks of the world's top 40 economies in terms of GDP. These accomplishments have been significantly bolstered by the domains of science, technology and innovation.

Prime Minister Chinh noted the participation of numerous United States-based partners, such as Synopsys, Cadence, Arizona and Nvidia, who gathered at this event to actualize agreements signed with NIC during U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Vietnam and Prime Minister Chinh's recent visit to the United States.

"It is only by mastering and nurturing science, technology, and innovation that Vietnam can align, develop, and thrive alongside the global community and fully embrace the fruits of human advancement," he affirmed.

Mr. Do Thanh Trung, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment, emphasized the pivotal role of large enterprises within the innovation ecosystem, particularly in shaping economic transformation. As the innovation ecosystem evolves, large enterprises play an increasingly influential role.

The latest report from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on the Global Innovation Index (GII) for 2023 reveals that Vietnam has climbed two places compared to 2022. Vietnam holds a remarkable record of maintaining an exceptional GII ranking for 13 consecutive years and is recognized by WIPO as exhibiting the swiftest pace of innovation among lower-middle-income economies.

"The wave of innovation is surging robustly. Innovation capacity stands as a competitive advantage in the contemporary economic landscape, ushering in fresh challenges and opportunities for businesses both in Vietnam and across the globe," added Mr. Trung.

Cultivating an appealing semiconductor ecosystem to attract leading enterprises

The inauguration of the NIC Hoa Lac facility marks a significant milestone, warmly welcoming semiconductor investors with an array of highly attractive policies and mechanisms. NIC Hoa Lac, alongside high-tech parks in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, holds strategic importance as they facilitate the development of the semiconductor ecosystem in Vietnam.

Amidst the ongoing redirection of global foreign direct investment (FDI), Vietnam is actively seeking to attract high-quality investments, particularly from leaders in high-tech, electronics, and semiconductor chip manufacturing. During U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to Vietnam in October 2023, the United States and Vietnam elevated their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. The joint statement issued by the two nations identifies innovation, including semiconductor development, as a key area of strategic cooperation. Furthermore, numerous leading semiconductor corporations around the world have demonstrated a "strong commitment" to Vietnam.

Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, speaking at the recent Vietnam Business Summit, emphasized that Vietnam's socio-economic development strategy for the 2021-2030 period places science, technology, innovation and digital transformation at the forefront of rapid and sustainable development. Accordingly, Vietnam is expanding its collaborative efforts with other countries to foster an ecosystem and support Vietnamese enterprises in entering the semiconductor industry, integrating into the supply chain, and becoming a pivotal link in the global supply chain.

Given Vietnam's considerable potential and strengths in developing the semiconductor ecosystem, the country encourages manufacturing corporations with established operations in Vietnam to expand and explore investment opportunities for those who have yet to establish a presence.

"This marks the beginning of our collaborative journey in establishing a robust and sustainable semiconductor alliance, supporting the shared development of ASEAN, and creating a promising future for the global semiconductor industry," Minister Dung added.

Breakthrough for development

Despite the notable achievements, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh acknowledged that Vietnam faces challenges in the development of science, technology and innovation, particularly in capitalizing on the intellectual potential and creativity of the Vietnamese people. To maximize the effectiveness of investments in NIC, he urged the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Science and Technology, along with other relevant ministries, agencies, and businesses to demonstrate greater determination and effort in seizing cooperation opportunities with international partners. Furthermore, it is imperative to enhance institutional and policy frameworks for innovation in Vietnam, meeting the immediate developmental requirements of innovation ecosystem stakeholders, notably innovation enterprises and startups.

The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of crafting strategies, plans, and action programs aimed at cultivating high-tech and innovation domains to bring heightened value to Vietnam in the coming years.

Additionally, he highlighted the significance of nurturing effective, sustainable, and comprehensive collaboration and connection among actors within the innovation ecosystem, encompassing large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, creative startups, research institutions, universities, innovation support agencies, innovation centers and incubators. International cooperation in innovation, science and technology was also underscored as a vital component, particularly between domestic enterprises and innovation organizations and major technology firms on a global scale.

The Prime Minister concluded by emphasizing the need to refine mechanisms and policies for NIC development, promptly commence operations, attract investment partners, and establish R&D facilities at NIC's new Hoa Lac High-Tech Park facility.

In line with the policies set forth by the Party and the State for the development of the innovation ecosystem, ministries, agencies, and localities were urged to actively collaborate, ensuring that businesses and the public remain at the heart of innovation. The focus should center on the establishment and enhancement of national innovation startup support centers in various key regions, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho, and other locales.

By Quynh Chi, Vietnam Business Forum