SIHUB organizes various activities to support innovative startups, attracting a large number of participants. (Photo: SGGP)
At present, Ho Chi Minh City is the home of around 2,000 startup enterprises, 65 percent of which are in the field of IT, followed by hi-tech agricultural businesses and food processing factories at 21 percent. The city owns 34 incubation centers to support startups and 19 investment spaces.
It is calculated that the amount of venture capital into startups reached US$1.1 billion last year, accounting for 60 percent of the total capital and 70 percent of the venture capital deals in the country. This proves HCMC is still an attractive location for innovative startup activities in Vietnam.
Other places in the nation have enthusiastically followed the footstep thanks to the adoption of suitable policies by the State, the launch of startup campaigns nationwide, and the introduction of the Governmental project ‘Supporting the National Innovative Startup Ecosystem until 2025’ (Project 844) in May 2016.
A range of startup support organizations have been born since then like Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC) under the Science and Technology Ministry, the Startup Support Center for the Youth under the Central Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, startup support centers for students in each major university, local startup support centers in each province.
In 2021, Project 844 sought to form innovation hubs – a model of centralized service as a collaboration between the State, educational institutes, and leading corporations in the country. A national network to connect startups all over the country was also created, with the National Startup Support Center as its core and standing organization to coordinate available resources for the growth of the startup ecosystem.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh stressed that innovation must help to tackle urgent issues like climate change, depletion of natural resources, population aging, green development, clean energy, and digital transformation.
Therefore, among the three strategic breakthrough solutions for the sustainable growth of Vietnam mentioned in the 13th Party Congress, the second focuses on the development of high-quality human resources and capable management, especially for key aspects, via comprehensive upgrades of educational and training quality, more logical employment and human resources designation mechanisms; the promotion of scientific research and technology transfer.
Similarly, in World Bank’s report on Science-technology and Innovation in Vietnam’, issued in November 2021, WB Vietnam’s Director Carolyn Turk suggested that to become a high-income economy in 2045, innovation must be a foundation for this income increase and development quality improvement.
In particular, Vietnam needs to take full advantage of the most advanced technologies, lessen the skill gap among its laborers, reorient policies regarding science-technology and innovation to suit the capacity and demands of businesses, increase the chance for innovation projects to approach sufficient finance.
Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy pointed out that since science affects nearly all industries and socio-economic, national defense aspects, it is necessary to improve indicators of the institutional pillar.
Accordingly, the ability to make, adopt and adjust policies should be developed, especially in such an unpredictable context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Human resources, infrastructure, reform of operation models, funding increase for science-technology, innovation activities must also be taken good care of. Foreign investments as well as bilateral and multilateral trade agreements must be better exploited.
As stated by Bui Thu Thuy, Vice Chairwoman of the Enterprise Development Agency (under the Planning and Investment Ministry), the Science and Technology Ministry is preparing a program to support enterprises, cooperatives, and household businesses in their digital transformation from 2021-2025 to submit to the Prime Minister. In 2022, that program will concentrate on the three major packages of
_VND20-50 million ($883-2,200) per year as support for small and medium-scaled (SME) enterprises to initiate their digital transformation process.
_VND100 million at most ($4,400) as support for medium-scaled developing enterprises to accelerate their digital transformation process
_50 percent of the account establishment and maintenance cost on global trading floors for businesses finishing their digital transformation.
CEO of SIHUB under the HCMC Department of Science and Technology Huynh Kim Tuoc mentioned that the focus of SIHUB in 2022 is to develop as many spin-off companies in universities as possible. SIHUB also focuses on building acceleration programs for SME and a channel to address possible problems as well as connecting too potential markets.