While Vietnam’s environment for the development of the innovation startup ecosystem is becoming more favourable, full legal and policy corridors are in need to help them take off.
At a policy forum held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 24, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Hoang Minh said that his ministry (MoST) is building an overall legal corridor for the innovation startup ecosystem, as well as developing pilot policies to accelerate commercialisation of innovation products and services in the market.
“There needs to be legal corridors, policies, and strong supporting entities, specifically innovation and startup support centres to mobilise, connect, and optimise resources in the ecosystem locally and centrally, from the private sector and from abroad,” he said.
At the event, policymakers, experts, and businesses agreed that the role of cities and provinces is increasingly important in developing the local innovation startup ecosystem. They also proposed specific mechanisms to facilitate startup activities, and mitigate the difficulties facing organisations when they support startups.
Pham Hong Quat, head of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation Development, added that the model for startup support centres is very diverse, currently being implemented by many parties with many different methods. The issue of coordination and linking resources together has to be raised, especially public-private and three-party cooperation.
“Developing centres in Vietnam will require resources and infrastructure, as well as a suitable location to connect everything. Personnel are critical, so there must be programmes to tap into and integrate these resources,” he said.
Nguyen Dinh Vinh, deputy head of the northern port city of Haiphong’s Department of Science and Technology, said that there are some problems facing local innovative support organisations.
“We should have initiatives and solutions, as well as specific mechanisms to mobilise resources for local startup support organisations, including legal framework, policies, and cooperation programmes to tap into human resources, technology, and finance,” Vinh said.
According to the MoST, cities and provinces need to be the subject of the organisation, implementation, establishment, and operation of local innovation startup centres, with key activities such as being the focal point to provide, guide, and support businesses; organising events for startups on a regional and local scale; and ordering the startup community to solve local government challenges.
“With such a model, I believe we will exploit the overall strength of the central and local levels, public and private sectors, bringing practical resources to the ecosystem, while avoiding overlapping and wasting resources,” Deputy Minister Minh added.
According to the Global Innovation Index report released by the World Intellectual Property Organisation in October, Vietnam has moved up two places to 46th out of 132 countries and territories, ranking fourth in ASEAN region and among the top of developing economies.
The 2023 StartupBlink global startup ecosystem ranking index also shows that the ecosystems in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have improved.
At present, Vietnam is home to more than 3,000 startup businesses, and more than 140 universities and research institutes have activities related to innovation startups with incubators, or startup support centres.
Vietnam Investment Review