WB-funded project contributes to promoting innovation in Vietnam hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac speaks at the event (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A conference to review the implementation of the "Fostering Innovation through Research, Science and Technology" (FIRST) project funded by the World Bank was held by the Ministry of Science and Technology in Hanoi on January 14.

Started in 2014, the project aimed to help Vietnam develop science and technology and promote innovation through piloting a number of new policies, which contributed to completing the framework for sci-tech development and attracting international experts and Vietnamese expats in this field.

Notably, the project helped speed up innovation in enterprises and enhanced links between enterprises and research institutes and education institutions, thus forming science and technology businesses.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Pham Cong Tac said the six-year project has realized its targets, opening a new period for sci-tech and socio-economic development in Vietnam.

Tac said the FIRST project created connections among 600 foreign scientists, including over 100 who have directly implemented cooperation activities in Vietnam.

It also engaged 77 private enterprises which directly invested nearly 400 billion VND (12.2 million USD) in implementing projects to master technology, creating 50 new products with added value from technology, he said.

After the project ended, the enterprises added over 1 trillion VND to expand large-scale production plants and register for protection of intellectual property rights for inventions, technological designs, useful solutions, plant varieties and software.

Meanwhile, 16 public science and technology organizations have invested in upgrading their laboratories, of which 10 modern laboratories have obtained ISO and Vietnam Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (VILAS) certifications to provide international scientific and technology services.

Addressing the conference, Country Director of the World Bank in Vietnam Ousman  Dione assessed that the FIRST project achieved "satisfaction" - a high level in the bank's ranking system.

Pilot mechanisms from the project have been implemented, contributing to the completion of a policy corridor to promote science - technology and innovation in Vietnam, he said.

After the FIRST project, the WB pledges to continue supporting and promoting innovation in Vietnam, Dione stated./.