Vietnamese and Finnish policymakers, scientists and businesses met at a forum that started in Hanoi on October 23 to discuss innovation and seek cooperation opportunities.

The two-day event is part of the Vietnam – Finland Innovation Partnership Programme (IPP), the first pilot scheme funded by Finland’s official development assistance (ODA) to promote science-technology and innovations in Vietnam with a view turning the country into an industrialised nation by 2020.

During the event, they will also talk about the management of State programmes, support tools for reform and cooperation between universities and firms.

According to Finnish Ambassador Kimmo Lahdevirta, IPP is underway in Vietnam, South Africa, Tanzania, Mozambique and some European nations.

During the first phase between 2009 and 2013, IPP received a funding of over 7 million EUR under the management of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Finnish Foreign Ministry.

It focuses on perfecting legal and management frameworks, improving the management of science-technology activities and assisting relevant individuals and businesses.

It is facilitating over 60 projects covering the development of institution and innovation capacity, support tools for initiatives, business innovation and the Vietnam – Finland cooperation.

Its second phase will cost some 10 million EUR from 2014 to 2018.-VNA