VietNamNet Bridge – R&D firms need sound business strategies and more skilled researchers to overcome current challenges, Pham Hong Quat, an official with the Ministry of Science and Technology, tells Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi).

As of November, 132 R&D enterprises were licenced in Viet Nam. How have these companies been developing?

For R&D enterprises, researching and developing science and technology is a must. To do this, most of them focus on investing in infrastructure and human resource training. They must also create a special unit for R&D and applying new technologies in production.

There are many successful models in this field with high turnover and profits, such as Viet Nam National Seed Joint Stock Company, Southern Seed Company, ACH Construction Consulting Company and Thien Duoc Company.

According to reports from 63 science and technology departments nationwide, no R&D enterprises have been dissolved since the beginning of the year. They have applied advanced technologies for production, which has helped them stand firm through hard times.

Enterprises haven't been updating the science and technology they use very quickly. Why is this?

The biggest difficulty for most enterprises has to do with capital. Most of them have to mobilise capital sources with high interest rates. This creates challenges for companies trying to implement research and development, or transfer advanced technology from international partners. Some enterprises' CEOs still have limited awareness about the importance of R&D, and state support for this area is still ineffective and incomprehensive.

Some people think many small and medium enterprises haven't been able to invest in R&D. What do you think?

In recent years, the State has implemented policies that support R&D, but not specifically in small and medium enterprises. Small and medium enterprises did not have enough capital, so it was not feasible to draft regulations that would use a part of the enterprises' revenue to establish funds for investing in R&D.

However, we cannot say that they are unable to invest in it. They can still improve their competitiveness by creating a good business strategy, attracting skilled workers and taking full advantage of the State's preferential treatment programmes. Leaders' visions and business strategies are very important factors in whether or not a company succeeds.

What measures are needed to tackle difficulties standing in the way of R&D enterprises?

For me, the most important thing to do is establish a good legal environment that ensures fair competition among all different kinds of enterprises. Think of technological innovation as an important factor for deciding whether or not an enterprise is competitive.

For difficulties relating to capital sources for investment, enterprises should be supported by risk investment funds or R&D funds maintained by ministries and sectors.

In addition, effective collaboration between ministries, sectors and localities can help enterprises better implement policies on R&D. The collaborative efforts should also encourage enterprises to be innovative and develop new products.