While many universities around the world consider research activities as an important part of their operation, Vietnam’s universities mostly focus on training.
However, in Vietnam, universities have begun paying higher attention to scientific research and allocating bigger budgets for the activities.
Analysts said the changes have been created by new policies.
As the government and the Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) have given more autonomy to universities, the schools have created and provided good products and services to the market with their own resources.
The products and services that can be commercialized include packaged long-term training programs; regular short-term skills training programs; and training programs tailored to business needs.
Universities can also commercialize the results of their research and development (R&D), give consultancy services to businesses (mostly production management consultancy, not business administration consultancy), and leasing material facilities and equipment for research.
The commercialization of research results by universities in Vietnam remains ineffective because lecturers just carry out research on issues they find interesting, and don’t listen to enterprises to find out what the latter need.
|Some lecturers don’t want to conduct research for fear of issues related to intellectual property (IP) protection. Their research may be stolen, and the enforcement of the laws remains weak.|
Some lecturers don’t want to conduct research for fear of issues related to intellectual property (IP) protection. Their research may be stolen, and the enforcement of the laws remains weak.
In other cases, researchers are not satisfied about the profit sharing mechanism.
The low demand from Vietnam’s enterprises for technological solutions is also a big problem. As 90 percent of Vietnam’s enterprises are small, they don’t want to spend money on technology renovation, while large corporations only buy foreign technologies because they don’t have confidence in Vietnam’s technologies.
Many inventions cannot be commercialized and they are 'put in mothballs'. They cannot reach the market, though businesses need technological solutions to improve productivity.
Experts believe that these problems can be settled with support from the state. The gaps are expected to be filled by intermediary units – organizations that commercialize universities’ research results.
There are three gaps that need to be filled, including one in technology discovery (two-way information), commercialization (pricing mechanism and technology cooperation and transfer) and the establishment of creative startups (intellectual property and communications).
In HCM City, commercialization has improved, but only at some prestigious schools, including the HCM City University of Science and Technology, HCM City Agriculture and Forestry University and HCM City Industry University.
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