VietNamNet Bridge – Only a few inventions have been launched commercially, while the majority of research works remain on paper only.


In 2005, Dr. Bui Minh Ly from Nitra, a Nha Trang-based research and technology application institute, an arm of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), for example, successfully extracted fucoidan biological active element after a two-year research project.

Ly continued working on using fucoidan to make medicines that can support the treatment of some diseases. However, the product commercial development made no headway.

Only when a relative of Vu Minh Tien, a businessman, tried Nitra-made fucoidan and found the high effectiveness of the substance did Tien began thinking of making fucoidan as commercial product.

In mid-August 2008, Tien met the representatives from Nitra. Eight months later, Fucoidan Vietnam JSC was established with capital contribution from many organizations and individuals. Nitra was a shareholder who contributed five percent of the chartered capital.

In early 2010, Fucoidan Vietnam launched its first batch of commercial products on the market. Tien, who is now director of Fucoidan Vietnam, is optimistic about the commercialization of the company’s products.

There is a medicine which has been used at drug rehabilitation centers for one year to support detoxification, but it still cannot be sold on the market. It is Heantos 4.

Dr. Prof Tran Van Sung, director of Heantos Company, who was the head of the Chemical Institute of VAST, said scientists sometimes had to halt their study just because of the lack of capital during the 17-year research process.

However, the researchers were lucky enough to receive VND2 billion in capital from a group of investors, who believed in the prospects of product commercialization.

After successful experiments, the effects of Heantos 4 have been recognized by the Ministry of Health.

“If Heantos 4 had not got support from the investors, the research work would have been put in mothballs like many other works,” Sung said.

The state allocates big budgets for scientific research projects every year, and many inventions are made public every year. However, only few of them have been developed as commercial products for sale in the market, because of the lack of financial support.

In the case of Phuong Nam Biology Company Ltd, scientists spent money to commercialize their inventions.

Dr. Vo Thi Hanh, director of Phuong Nam, said 27 out of the company’s 28 commercial products have been commercialized from the discoveries made by scientific research  carried out by research institutes and science departments and work funded by international organizations.

In 2000, Hanh asked the Institute of Tropical Biology (ITB), an arm of VAST, for permission to set up a workshop to make products based on discoveries from scientific research projects.

In 2013, Hanh, together with some scientists who left ITB, established a company to commercialize their inventions themselves. The company’s factory, located in Long An province, specializes in making biological produce for animal husbandry, aquaculture and environment treatment.