Research institutes and universities play a key role in fostering technology transfer for rapid but sustainable human and economic development.

The point was stressed at a workshop in Hanoi on March 13 jointly held by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the Wallonia Foreign Trade and Investment Agency and Wallonie-Bruxelles International in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Mathilde of Belgium .

At the event, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung emphasised the significant contribution of technology transfer offices to economic success, saying that "it is a real necessity for prosperous development".

The sector has forecast that the value of high-tech products will make up 45 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.

For the goal to be fulfilled, research institutes and universities as well as their technology transfer offices will be key players in providing training, consultation, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Vice President of Wallonia and the Federation Wallonia-Brussels Jean-Claude Marcourt agreed that the offices will help reinforce regional competitiveness and on the world market.

Another matter addressed is the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in order to encourage research, development and technology transfer, he said.

According to Professors Puttemans and Kapetanaki from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, the situation of intellectual property violations recently becomes worse in Vietnam along with economic development.

Strong measures were recommended, such as closing retails outlets, for instance, to prevent intellectual property-related violations and encourage researchers.

Professor Bart De Moor from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven said that clear incentives are important together with modern research instruments to encourage researchers and research groups.

About 3,000 enterprises operating in science and technology will be established by 2015. Of those, 70 percent will be developed from research institutes and universities.-VNA