Utilizing Scientific and Technological Advancements to Enhance Business Competitiveness

9:19:32 AM | 13/11/2023

Phu Tho province consistently recognizes businesses as pivotal hubs for innovation, constituting a significant factor that exerts a profound influence on the success of technological application, transfer, and innovation. Notably, the Department of Science and Technology plays a pivotal role in providing astute counsel to the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People's Committee regarding the formulation of mechanisms and policies designed to foster and facilitate local business development. Our reporter conducted an interview with Mr. Nguyen Duy Anh, Director of the Phu Tho Department of Science and Technology, to delve into this subject matter.

Experts and students from Phu Tho universities and colleges participate in a workshop aimed at promoting awareness of innovative startups

Could you please tell us about how science and technology help companies improve their competitiveness and local typical products?

To help local companies enhance their competitiveness, the Department of Science and Technology advised the Provincial People's Committee to issue Plan 1492/KH-UBND on deploying and applying the system of traceability, barcoding, labeling and quality standardization for agricultural, forest, aquatic and food products in the province in 2020 - 2025; Plan 4835/KH-UBND dated October 21, 2021 on support for improving product productivity and quality based on science, technology and innovation in 2021 - 2025; and Plan 3232/KH-UBND on developing certification mark for Phu Tho tea in 2021 - 2025.

Projects under the Productivity and Quality Improvement Support Program are being effectively carried out to raise the awareness of cooperatives and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the province to apply management systems and advanced improvement tools to enhance productivity and quality. This is one of the important solutions for local organizations and businesses to sharpen their competitiveness, reduce personnel cost, time, fuel and energy, and boost business performance.

How do you assess the scientific and technological capabilities of the province and the current state of scientific and technological innovations and applications of local enterprises in recent years?

The province has placed a premium on investment for infrastructure development and equipment procurement for scientific research and technological development. Phu Tho has invested in some projects to upgrade infrastructure and scientific and technological equipment. Every year, the province invests an average of VND22.1 billion in scientific and technological development. The Department of Science and Technology has three State-funded projects with a total investment value of VND35.56 billion. In addition, many companies have actively invested in upgrading equipment and building laboratories that meet LAS and VILAS standards. Although the investment budget for science and technology is still limited, public investment projects have helped power up capabilities for scientific and technological organizations and public service providers to boost the capacity of supplying public scientific and technological services.

Notably, the Department of Science and Technology has effectively advised the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee to promulgate mechanisms and policies to encourage and support local business development: Investment support program for SMEs in technological innovations; intellectual property development program; and scientific and technological application program in production and life.

In 2018 - 2022, the department supported 37 businesses to apply science and technology to production according to national and provincial projects. Among them, 22 companies joined national projects; 11 companies carried out technology research and development programs; and four companies took part in technological application and transfer programs with a total central and provincial support budget of over VND90 billion. The department assisted 53 companies in technological innovation with a total support budget of VND18.37 billion.

To turn science and technology into a driving force for development, what solutions has Phu Tho province applied?

Phu Tho province will further institutionalize Party guidelines to build and perfect institutions, especially for emerging industries and fields, promote technological research and innovation to solve environmental issues, combat climate change, and encourage digital transformation and green development.

The province will effectively carry out goals, tasks, and solutions stated in the National Science and Technology Market Development Program to 2030; apply policies to encourage businesses to import core technologies through research institutes and universities to decode, absorb and master technologies, accelerate the pace of technological innovation in companies; introduce policies to encourage startups and innovations, develop bigdata and share data and information to promote comprehensive and synchronous development of sci-tech and startup ecosystem.

At the same time, the province will expand international cooperation and integration in science and technology; coordinate with relevant bodies to further attract and effectively use external resources for technological research, application, innovation startup and transfer.

Phu Tho will build cooperation, training and coaching plans to raise professional qualifications of science and technology personnel; closely coordinate with the Ministry of Science and Technology in training public employees to enhance their scientific and technological prowess; work with domestic and foreign research institutes, universities, organizations, and scientists to strengthen scientific research, consulting, training and technology transfer.

The province will strengthen cooperation in developing human resources, powering up the capacity and level of scientific research and technology development, training and developing highly qualified human resources, and forming strong research teams to solve the province's science and technology tasks.

Thank you very much!

By Tran Cong, Vietnam Business Forum