A graphic outlining opportunities for innovation policymakers in Vietnam: increasing role for innovation; increased public spending; changing practices

An increasing role for science, technology and innovation

Over the last few years, science, technology and innovation has been playing an increasingly important role in the socio-economic development of Vietnam. Steps are being taken by the government to reform innovation policy management and ensure it better meets the needs of Vietnam's social and economic development. This is illustrated by the launch of several key government initiatives, including for example:

  • The 2011-2020 ‘National Product Development Programme’, seeking to support the development of new Vietnamese trademarked products using advanced and highly competitive technologies (for example, in the field of high-yield crops, network information security or vaccines).
  • The ‘National Startup Ecosystem Development Programme’, aiming to support the development of an innovative startup ecosystem in Vietnam by 2025, creating a favourable environment for the emergence and development of high-growth potential startups working with new technologies.
  • In parallel, complementary science, technology and innovation support mechanisms have been developed, including improved international collaboration, through programmes like the Vietnam-Finland Innovation Partnership Programme.

Increasing public spending (but still not sufficient)

As a whole, public funding for science and technology in Vietnam is increasing as a percentage of GDP. While it accounted for 0.53 per cent of GDP for the period 2001-2005, this grew to 0.67 per cent for 2006-2010. Within the same time frame, the number of R&D projects designated by the state has also grown, along with non-government expenditure in R&D. However, Vietnam’s R&D expenditure, both public and private, is still low in comparison with the OECD average, and to many ASEAN neighbours at any given point in time.

Changing practices

In recent years, there has been a real shift in the way innovation policies are being formulated, moving from very centralised internal debates among policymakers to more open policy dialogues which involve a wider range of stakeholders beyond just government officials. New institutions supporting innovation are contributing to boosting policymakers’ implementation abilities. Efforts to improve coordination between different parties in the ecosystem have also contributed to strengthening technology transfer and developing some firms’ capabilities to absorb and apply new scientific knowledge and technologies.

Authors

Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Florence Engasser

Senior Foresight Analyst

Florence is a Senior Foresight Analyst within Nesta’s Discovery Hub, which aims to create a link between Nesta’s current portfolio and our pipeline of future work.

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Benjamin Reid

Benjamin Reid

Benjamin Reid

Head of International Innovation - Development Programmes

Benjamin is head of the International Innovation team within Nesta's Policy and Research division, examining new global trends and practices in innovation, with an emphasis on emerging…

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Silvia Pau

Silvia Pau

Silvia Pau

Assistant Programme Manager, A Fairer Start mission

Silvia is an Assistant Programme Manager.

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Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega

Design Lead, International Innovation

Paulina was the Design Lead for the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator, a 14-country collaborative development programme for senior innovation policymakers.

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Nathan Kably

Nathan Kably

Nathan Kably

Senior Strategy Analyst

Nathan worked on the design and delivery of Nesta's strategy

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Anna Schlimm

Anna Schlimm

Anna Schlimm

Learning Experience Designer, Global Innovation Policy Accelerator

Anna was a Learning Experience Designer for the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator.

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