The science and technology sector should create a breakthrough and a momentum for the country’s socio-economic development.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the request while attending the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)’s conference to review work in 2011 and discuss orientations and tasks for 2012 in Hanoi on Jan. 10.

The Government leader urged the ministry to continue improving its institutions to create a favourable environment for scientific and technological research and application in production.

The Ministry should promote basic research activities, focusing on mathematics, physics and social sciences; speed up the progress of investment in hi-tech zones and major laboratories; and continue support for businesses which invest in technological innovation, he said.

PM Dung noted that the sector needs to develop the technological market and encourage organisations and individuals to engage in scientific and technological activities and services, especially technological consultancy and assessment services.

The application of technologies, particularly information technology and bio-technology, should be stepped up in production sectors, he said.

He asked MoST to pay attention to examination and inspection activities, personnel training and international cooperation in science and technology, while preparing infrastructure and human resources for nuclear power development.

At the conference, the Government leader spoke highly of the science and technology sector’s active contributions to national development over the past year, especially to agriculture – a key sector of the economy.

However, he pointed out shortcomings that the sector needs to solve in the future, including the poor quality of staff, the slow progress of scientific and technological programmes and projects, and the ineffective use of labs./.