Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – The Finland–Vietnam Innovation Partnership Programme Phase 2 (IPP2) plans to support start-up ecosystem developers, universities and other educational organisations in Vietnam to improve their innovation and entrepreneurship in 2016.

The information was unveiled at the Final Demo Day in Ho Chi Minh City on January 23 to review the implementation of the IPP2 between 2014 and 2015.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Quoc Khanh said Vietnam needs strong businesses that are expected to develop in a healthy and creative environment.

The ministry has worked hard to improve policies in the field while encouraging private firms to set up venture investment funds. This aims to create a favourable financial and legal climate to develop hi-tech nurseries and start-up training, especially for young entrepreneurs, he said.

He said he hopes innovation experts trained under the IPP2 will become crucial factors in Vietnam’s public and private business sectors.

IPP2 is an Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme financed by the Vietnamese and Finnish governments.

The second phase of the programme runs from 2014 to 2018 with the budget of 11 million EUR (11.8 million USD), aiming to strengthen the Vietnamese innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

It also looks to promote sustainable economic development by increasing production and export of innovative products and services.

Between 2014 and 2015, the IPP2 provided financial, training, consulting, and connection assistance to realise 22 innovation projects in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Thua Thien-Hue.

As of 2015, the projects generated more than 480 jobs for locals and grossed over 430,000 USD in domestic revenue.

The projects also raked in more than 215,000 USD selling products to foreign markets such as the US , Germany and the Republic of Korea .

In 2015, Vietnam jumped 19 places to rank 52nd out of 141 nations in the global innovation index. It also ranked 56th among 140 countries in global competitiveness, up 12 places.-VNA