Science, technology and innovation pillars of development: deputy minister

On May 15, for the first time, experts from leading international foundations and organisations in innovation under the International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) have gathered in Vietnam for a conference on the theme of "Science, technology and innovation - a pillar for Vietnam's socio-economic development".

Deputy Minister of MoST Bui The Duy. (Photo: NDO/Ha Linh)
Deputy Minister of MoST Bui The Duy. (Photo: NDO/Ha Linh)

The event is held by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) in coordination with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the IDIA.

Before of the conference began, Deputy Minister of MoST Bui The Duy exchanged with Nhan Dan Newspaper correspondent on the selection of science and technology (S&T) and innovation that are the pillars of socio-economic development. Duy said that S&T and innovation play a core role in economic development, is not a private initiative. It is a process of assessing the development of countries around the world.

It is notable to review five Asian "tigers" who have escaped from low-income and middle-income traps based on S&T and innovation. These countries must transform from an economic development model based on cheap labour and gradually exhausting natural resources to a model based on technology absorption and then one based on technological creativity to create intellectual property, creating new fuel sources to boost socio-economic development.

It is evident in the present era, with the rapid development of S&T, the convergence of digital technology in the fourth Industrial Revolution requires that S&T and innovation must be turned into the core foundation of development. The Party and Government of Vietnam have always paid attention to the position and role of S&T as a driving force in the country's development process.

Currently, in response to new requirements and challenges, Vietnam continues to choose S&T and innovation as one of the pillars for development. In that process, the country always receives the attention and coordination of friends around the world, who are leading countries in innovation, as well as receiving support from leading international organisations and funds in innovation such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Innovation Fund and the Rockefeller Foundation. It helps to boost exchange of solutions to promote the development of S&T and innovation to contribute more and more to Vietnam’s growth.

Duy emphasised that, at the conference, there will be an exchange and discussion session on how to make S&T and innovation a pillar for Vietnam’s socio-economic development. This is an opportunity for Vietnam to receive the advice from leading experts on innovation for socio-economic development orientation.

Experts at the event have experience from their national developments, having witnessed the transition from middle-income and low-middle economic models to high-average income and high income levels. They also have experience in working with successful transition countries and even with those that have not yet successfully transitioned.

Experiences and suggestion of experts will be valuable, contributing to the development of Vietnam's 10-year socio-economic development strategy (2021-2030). The event shows that Vietnam is a reliable destination for prestigious organisations in the world on S&T and innovation to cooperate, promote sustainable development and achieve the millennium development goals together.

The IDIA is a collaborative network that brings together senior experts from the world's leading governments, organisations and funds for innovation. It has 13 members, in which there are some prominent names such as the Australian Government (represented by InnovationXchange - a unit under the DFAT), Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German Government, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Global Innovation Fund, Grand Challenges Canada, Rockefeller Foundation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank (WB).

IDIA members meet annually in different countries to exchange knowledge, share experiences and identify collaborative opportunities to develop new products and methods to enhance the innovation ecosystem at the national level.