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Vietnam National Innovation Centre to boost tech start-up ecosystem

Image credit: Nhan Dan

Construction of the National Innovation Centre (NIC) officially kicked off in Hanoi on 9 January, along with the opening of an international exhibition displaying the year’s leading innovations.

Addressing the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stressed that innovation has become the key to Vietnam’s success and plays an important role in socio-economic development strategies devised by most nations and territories. With the rapid development of the fourth industrial revolution, the country must swiftly adapt and take firm steps to implement a plan.

According to a news report, the Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung said that the NIC aims to host domestic and foreign technology firms and provide the optimal infrastructure system for the research and development of technological and start-up ideas.

The centre will promote investment and speed up the commercialisation of technological products. He underlined that the NIC will help facilitate the formation of innovative centres in localities and regions, making important contributions to the restructuring of the economy and the transformation of the country’s growth model, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the Vietnamese economy.

Approved by the Prime Minister in 2019, the National Innovation Centre (NIC), worth VND740 billion (US$32 million), is located in Hoa Lac hi-tech park on the outskirts of Hanoi.

The centre, covering an area of 35 hectares, is set up under the Prime Minister’s Decision No.1269/QD-TTg to support and develop the nation’s start-ups and innovation ecosystems, contributing to the growth models based on science and technology.

It is expected to house domestic and international innovative businesses, laboratories, offices of large corporations, as well as be a working place for leading experts and scientists.

The PM highlighted the country’s achievements in 2020, saying that Vietnam has received official recognition as a dynamic economy in Asia, with an annual GDP growth rate of 6.3% over the past decade. Last year, Vietnam was ranked one of the 16 most successful emerging economies that achieved the dual goal of epidemic prevention and economic recovery. This can be seen through the positive growth of 2.9%, making Vietnam among a group of nations to record the highest growth rate in the world.

The PM attributed the success to the country’s efforts in applying technological advances to production and business activities, serving to create added value to the national economy. As part of the strategy to turn the country into a developed and high-income nation by 2045, PM Phuc said Vietnam must rely on knowledge, science, and technology, especially innovation, all of which can be considered important factors for growth.

Most notably, it is the use of new technology coupled with suitable human resources that will be the decisive factor for long-term growth, the key to achieving development breakthroughs, and helping the country to get out of the middle-income trap, PM Phuc explained.

He added that the commencement of the National Innovation Centre project will create an ideal condition for the local innovation ecosystem to develop and reach out across the globe. He also expressed his hope that the centre will be soon come into operation in order to become a pioneering model that can be promoted nationwide.

The Vietnam International Innovation Expo, the first of its kind in the country, has attracted the participation of 113 local businesses, 22 foreign-invested firms, and 21 institutions to showcase new products and technology models across 156 booths.

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