Unity key to product dominance

Thursday, Aug 15, 2013 13:05

Students practise on an industrial control system in a laboratory of Ha Noi University of Science and Technology. Co-operative ventures between the university and enterprises have dramatically improved the competitiveness of Vietnamese products. —VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hung

HA NOI (Biz Hub)— Co-operation between domestic universities, research facilities and businesses has dramatically improved the competitiveness of Vietnamese products.

The assessment was released by a research and development project between Ha Noi University of Science and Technology (HUS&T), Rang Dong Light Source and the Vacuum Flask Joint Stock Company.

Since 2007, HUS&T has provided technological advances to improve domestic production for the Vacuum Flask Joint-Stock Company. Initially, technology was provided for producing materials for bulb production, which previously had to be imported.

The company then expanded technology transfer to compact fluorescent lamps – also known as ‘energy-saving lamps'.

Late last year, the company worked with university lecturers to produce light-emitting diode (LED) lamps which met international standards.

Such ventures in technological-innovation have provided a welcome boost to company growth and profitability, said Company Director Nguyen Doan Thang.

Currently, two laboratories have been set up at the company and the university to facilitate the collaboration.

He added the company had been fortunate in its partnership with the university, which has provided leading experts who have transformed inventions into real products.

"Mutual trust has played a key role in the success of the co-operation between inventors and enterprises," said assistant professor Do Xuan Thanh, also Director of the company's Research and Development Centre.

"Enterprises need to trust the capacity of scientists. They can make important contributions to enterprises who want to engage in joint ventures," he said, emphasising that both parties needed to be pro-active about long-term collaborations.

He urged that leaders needed to be aware of technological innovation and the vital role it plays in the survival and competitiveness of enterprises.

Lecturer Nguyen Van Hieu from Ha Noi Univesity of Science and Technology, said substandard research activities were preventing further collaboration between enterprise and universities.

According to Hieu, the current mechanism for the approval and funding is limiting research.

"Most school studies produce results that are not applicable or are yet to be applied in real life," he said.

The principal of Ha Noi Agriculture University, Tran Duc Vien, believes that more needs to be done to provide training programmes that produce qualified employees that meet company requirements.

According to a survey of 150 gardening enterprises run by the university five years ago, an overwhelming number cited a mismatch between what students were being taught and what was needed in the marketplace.

This explained why gardening attracted few Vietnamese students while in Europe, it was one of most "attractive" faculties at agriculture universities, he said.

Director of the Centre for Business Studies and Assistance Vu Kim Hanh said that although more enterprises wanted to collaborate with research centres, information on the opportunities available was difficult to access.

A different survey of 200 domestic enterprises revealed that while 60 per cent of enterprises got information on technological innovations through trade fairs, 27 per cent received information from companies offering to collaborate, Hanh said, adding that more needed to be done.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Nguyen Quan, said that technological innovation was part of the revised law on Science and Technology, which will provide a much needed boost to cooperation between science and enterprise, and significantly improve the competitiveness of Vietnamese products.

He advised that the co-operative model between Rang Dong Company and Ha Noi University of Science and Technology needed to be expanded.

"Scientists can work with enterprises or run their own business to make their inventions applicable," he said. — VNS

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