Monday, June 22, 2015

Minister pledges to strongly develop technology market

Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan underlined a number of measures to build a technology market and promote the application of science-technology in agriculture and increase labour productivity and competitiveness at the Q&A session in the ninth meeting of the 13th National Assembly in Hanoi on June 12.
He said the ministry has created a legal foundation for the technology market in recent years, admitting that the biggest shortcoming is failing to build intermediary institutions and services in the field.
He affirmed that the ministry is taking steps to address this weakness such as organising national and international technology equipment fairs and promoting gatherings for businesses and scientists at technology exchanges in Hanoi , Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.
Besides submitting a national programme on developing the technology market to the Prime Minister, the ministry is seeking financial investment sources to shortly establish intermediary technology institutions in the market, he said.
He continued to say that close to 3 trillion VND (142.86 million USD) is spent annually on scientific research, but admitting that many of research projects have not been put to use. The minister explained that investment from businesses is essential to bring successful studies into reality while most of domestic enterprises are of small and medium sizes with limited financial resources.
The ministry is implementing the national technology renovation programme of the Government and the National Foundation for Science and Technology to support businesses to bring research outcomes into production as quickly as possible, he said.
In response to NA deputies’ concern about the lack of high-quality strains in the field of agriculture, the minister said his ministry has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to study high-yield rice varieties. At the same time, he said these varieties are not used widely because few businesses are involved in commercialising rice strains. In addition, due to the small scale production, farmers tend to choose cheap imported hybrid rice seeds on the market. According to the minister, when large-scale production develops, quality rice strains will be used on a wide scale.
The two ministries have also coordinated in preserving valuable genes of Vietnamese plants and animals and pledged to support capable businesses to implement science-technology projects, he said.
In response to NA deputies’ questions about venture funds for high technology, the minister said although the High Technology Law contains regulations on a venture fund for high technology to support scientists, the fund has not been established as it is not stipulated in the State Budget Law and other relevant laws.
However, the Ministry of Science and Technology has made the first step by support the project for the private venture fund, which has sponsored nine start-up groups of students from universities. Five of the groups have found investors for their business with an investment of 200,000 USD each. This is a bright sign signaling the success of the model, he asserted.
Answering a question by Hoang Thi To Nga, representative of Nam Dinh province, on the progress of Hoa Lac high-tech park, the minister said obstacles in ground clearance caused the slow progress of the project.
Though, the park is expected to become operational in 2018 as scheduled, he pledged.
Regarding scientific measures to raise labour productivity, Quan said the ministry has mobilised over 800 billion VND for 390 projects to apply science and technology to production in 61 localities nationwide. The projects are showing good results, especially in mountainous and remote areas, he said.
Concluding the session, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung urged the ministry to focus on boosting the development of technology and the science-technology market, and seek way to end the wastefulness caused by impractical scientific research.
The NA Chairman also suggested that the ministry should coordinate closer with other ministries to develop the national product programme to supply the market with high-quality products with suitable price.
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