Vietnam Academy Of Social Sciences

International webinar "National innovation system in Europe: Trends, policies, challenges and lessons for Vietnam"


In the afternoon of September 9, 2021, at the headquarters of No. 1 Lieu Giai, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, the Institute of European Studies (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences) held an international scientific conference with the theme "National innovation system in Europe: Trends, policies, challenges and lessons for Vietnam”, funded by KAS Foundation (Germany). The seminar was organized in an online form, including representatives of state management agencies, scientists, research institutes, universities, businesses and international organizations in Vietnam.

Prof. Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, Vice President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, gave a welcome speech
The National Innovation-Innovation System (NIS) has been developed and perfected in European developed countries since the early 1980s and plays a key role in the process of sustainable development sustainability of the region. In order to promote the effectiveness of the national innovation system, EU countries have focused on a number of areas such as: strengthening the capacity of universities, research infrastructure and expanding international cooperation, including includes employment opportunities for foreign researchers, providing advanced training programs and learning environments. Financial incentives promote competition among countries to attract foreign R&D centers. The above policies have had a positive impact on the innovation process of EU countries, contributing to maintaining the technological strength of the whole bloc as an advanced science and technology center of the world.
The National Innovation-Innovation System (NIS) consists of many stakeholders linked together to promote the innovation process of a country, specifically: (i) State management agencies set up design and promulgate policies to promote R&D activities, build scientific and technological capacity, form product markets, create new requirements for quality; building knowledge networks and linkages, supporting innovation through incubation, providing finance and consulting, etc.. (ii) The business sector plays the role of the Center of Innovation, is the subject of investment in R&D, as well as a place to commercialize the R&D results of other S&T organizations; (iii) R&D institutions and universities are sources of innovation activities; (iv) Organizations providing intermediary services, connecting supply and demand for innovation. This systems thinking opens the door for all countries to tackle the big long-term growth challenges and, more importantly, it contributes to increasing the competitiveness of each country in the world.
Speaking to welcome the Conference, Prof. Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh, Vice President of Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences warmly welcomed the domestic and international delegates to the Conference. GS. Dang Nguyen Anh said that the world today is facing unpredictable challenges and crises, which seriously threaten the prosperity and competitiveness of nations. Our seminar takes place in a very special context when the COVID-19 pandemic is still having a negative impact on socio-economic development, health and life of people in many countries, including Vietnam. In this context, countries are trying to find new and more sustainable growth drivers. Innovation and continuous upgrading of technological capabilities are the keys to opening up new and sustainable sources of growth for all countries.
GS. Dang Nguyen Anh affirmed that, as a developing country with many difficulties, Vietnam is very interested and has many measures to promote innovation development, in which, focusing on building and perfecting the system national innovation-creation. Over the past time, the Government has made some active efforts in promulgating policies as well as establishing innovation promotion organizations such as National Innovation Center, National Technology Innovation Fund (NATIF), Development Fund National Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED), and promote innovation and start-ups in particular. However, the results obtained are still very modest and practical implementation still reveals many difficulties and shortcomings such as policy design capacity, effectiveness of support policies and programs, and self-efficacy of enterprises, linkages between innovation entities, etc… Prof.Dr. Dang Nguyen Anh emphasized that in the coming time, the Government needs to quickly remove the above bottlenecks in order to open up investment resources to promote innovation activities.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Chien Thang - Director of the Institute of European Studies speaks at the conference Mr. Florian Feyerabend, Chief Representative of KAS Foundation of Germany in Vietnam, speaking at the Conference

Speaking at the opening of the Conference, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Chien Thang - Director of the Institute for European Studies cited, after more than 30 years of "Doi Moi", reform towards liberalization since 1986 has brought Vietnam great achievements. From a poor country with an income of less than 100 USD in the 1980s, Vietnam has now joined the group of low-middle-income countries and is striving to achieve the goal of becoming a middle-income country by 2030. However, such liberalization-oriented reforms are not enough to ensure that Vietnam meets its target by 2030, when the economy in the past decade has slowed down and exposed economic uncertainties macroeconomics. Growth through liberalization has almost exploited its full potential and this is the time when Vietnam needs to carry out reform version 2.0 based on science, technology and innovation.

Director Thang said that the 13th Party Congress has affirmed that science and technology in general and innovation in particular must become an important driving force in the new growth model, especially in the context of the rapidly developing Industry 4.0. The content of innovation has been integrated by the Government into the state management of business environment improvement, in which, according to Decree 19 in 2017, different from previous annual documents of the Government on environmental improvement. In the business field, this Decree has added criteria on innovation in operating activities.
Initial successes have been recognized: according to the GII index of WIPO, Vietnam from 71st place in 2014 has risen to 59th in 2016 and by 2020 has broken out to 42/131 position, just below Singapore and Malaysia in the ASEAN region. Over the past five years, improvements have also been made in the indicators most closely related to the NIS, such as the total national expenditure on R&D, as well as the number of researchers in the enterprise, which have both increased significantly. The business sector is aiming to become the center of innovation with the participation of a number of large economic groups such as Vingroup, Viettel, FPT, etc… Other important indicators and contents of NIS, such as the number of international publications and registration of inventions and utility solutions, also increased steadily every year in the period 2016-2020.
Also according to Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Chien Thang, with Vietnam's development potential, the above results are not enough, there is still room for policy improvement. Also according to the 2020 GII, some component indexes are ranked very low, such as Institutions (83/131), human resources (79), and infrastructure (73). More specifically, some limitations can be mentioned such as the fledgling and fragmented national innovation system; The innovation ecosystem of our country still has many barriers, there is no legal corridor for new products and services; technological human resources are lacking in both quality and quantity; the commercialization of science and technology products is still weak; the linkage between subjects participating in innovation-creation is still loose.
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Chien Thang suggested that, as the forerunners in the development of the NIS system, European countries have valuable experiences that Vietnam can learn and refer to in a number of issues such as building a legal framework; The role of the State in the formation of supporting institutions as well as the initial direct support mechanisms; mobilize resources for NIS; strengthen the central role of enterprises; and promote links between subjects.
The workshop received many presentation reports sent to the Organizing Committee, organized into 02 sessions with 08 reports presented on the following topics:
(1) Mr. Pencho Kuzev, Policy Advisor, Department of Economy and Innovation, KAS Organization (Germany), “German Institutional Framework for Promoting the National Innovation System”; (2) Dr. Nguyen Viet Long – Director of Binh Duong Department of Science and Technology, “Building a local innovation ecosystem: the case of Binh Duong and international learning experiences”; (3) Dr. Vo Xuan Hoai, Vietnam National Innovation Center, “Developing a national innovation system in Vietnam: Opportunities and challenges”; (4) Dr. Hoa Huu Cuong – European Research Institute, “Development of science and technology human resources in Germany and some suggestions for Vietnam”; (5) Mr. Christian Lawrence, Brunswick Group, Germany, “Promoting the central role of business in the national innovation system to: The EU's experience from the German point of view"; (6) Dr. Bach Tan Sinh and Dr. Nguyen Hoang Hai, Academy of Science, Technology and Innovation (VISTI), “Promoting an innovation-based startup ecosystem in the context of the post-pandemic economy in Vietnam: Opportunities and challenge"; (7) Dr. Tomi Sarkioja, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Former Co-Chair of the Finland-Vietnam Innovation Program, Researcher at Tampere University, “The linkage between actors in the national innovation system experts: European experience and implications for Vietnam”; (8) Dr. Cung Trong Cuong, Director of Development Research Institute, Thua Thien Hue province, "The Innovation Ecosystem of Thua Thien Hue - Practices from developing local innovative enterprises".
Workshop scene
The conference received many comments from delegates, experts and scientists. The presentations and opinions presented at the Workshop focused on exchanging, discussing, analyzing and clarifying the National Innovation System in some European Union countries and in Vietnam, providing useful reference value for policy makers, and at the same time suggest some policy implications for Vietnam in the field of innovation. Thereby, contributing to bringing a multi-dimensional, in-depth view, solving practical problems that are posed.
Editorial board


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