cientific and Technical Development and Technological Innovation in the Southeast Region (Part 1): Achievements in Technological Innovation and High-Tech Application

15 September, 2023

The Southeast is the region with the largest economic activity in the country. However, in threcent years during the Covid epidemic, the growth rate of the Southeast region has tended to decrease and to be lower than that of the whole country. Through analyzing and evaluating the current status of technological innovation and high-tech application activities in the Southeast Region, the authors have presented great achievements and causes of limited impact on innovation activities regarding science and technology of the region. From this foundation, the author group proposes solutions for technological innovation and high-tech application so as to improve the growth quality of the Southeast Region.

Let’s discover the achievements in innovation and high-tech application in the Southeast region in Part 1 of this article.

Southeast – The economic region with the greatest capacity in terms of innovation and application of science and technology in Vietnam

Most Provinces in the Southeast Region have established innovation support centers. Ho Chi Minh City, the economic engine of the Southeast region, in dividually, by the end of 2021, has had 36 incubators and creative start-up support organizations, 13 co-working spaces, and more than 100 universities and colleges. In terms of innovation activities, approximately 2,000 innovative start-up businesses have been establshied. Ho Chi Minh City has been implementing the Project to support the development of Ho Chi Minh City’s innovative startup ecosystem for the 2021-2025 period” and is the leading city in the country with a positive creative startup ecosystem. In 2020, Ho Chi Minh City ranked at the position of 19 out of 100 in the Asia-Pacific Region’s innovation ecosystem rankings. Binh Duong Province builds an innovation zone with the participation of foreign experts from Singapore and the Netherlands. From the results of completing the innovative startup ecosystem and implementing smart cities, Binh Duong Province attracts a variety of leading corporations in science and technology listed as Schneider Group, Philips, Bosch, NXP, Intel, TMA and so on. Domestic and foreign institutes and universities jointly develop a creative startup ecosystem and quickly deploy science and technology applications. Dong Nai Province, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, Tay Ninh Province, and Binh Phuoc Province also have vibrant innovative startup movements that are becoming more and more practical.

In 2022, Vietnam ranks at the 48th place out of 132 countries and economies on the global innovation index, being as the country ranking at 3rd in Southeast Asia with a promising startup and innovation ecosystem, belonging to the group of countries that have achieved the greatest progress over the past decade. Achievements in innovation in Vietnam have a significant contribution from the Southeast Provinces, in which Ho Chi Minh City is the leader.

Southeast – The region with the fastest development of smart cities in Vietnam country

On July 3, 2020, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City announced Decision No. 2393 titled Approving the digital transformation program at Ho Chi Minh City”. That Ho Chi Minh City is the first locality to announce a smart urban construction project is also the first locality to announce a digital transformation project and to build Thu Duc Smart City. Binh Duong Province has had a smart city development strategy since the end of 2016. By July 2021, Binh Duong Smart City was announced by the World Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) in New York of the United States as TOP 7 Communities with typical Smart City development strategies in the world in 2021. Dong Nai Province is one of the earliest Provinces to deploy Smart City construction in the country.

Up to the present time as in 2023, 01 Province has been implementing 02 smart cities in the city: Bien Hoa City and Long Khanh City. To improve the quality of smart city construction implementation, Dong Nai Province granted Decision No. 1179/QD-UBND dated on May 10, 2022 approving the smart urban development project of Dong Nai Province for the 2022-2025 period together the orientation towards 2030. Ba Ria – Vung Tau Province, in April 2022, building a Smart Operations Center designed with high load capacity, has been ready to expand own scale to build a Smart City in this Province. Although Binh Phuoc Province implemented it later, in November 2022, the fact that Binh Phuoc Province built a smart urban monitoring and operation center (IOC) in Dong Xoai City is the core foundation for building a Smart City (Smart Urban). Tay Ninh Province, in November 2022, issued a decision to pilot Hoa Thanh Town to become the Province’s smart urban area by 2030. The construction of smart urban cities and towns in the Southeast Region creates one foundation with the purpose of promoting digital transformation and application of 4.0 Technology in production and life.

The Southeast Region strongly deploys the strategy of digitizing socio-economic activities, quickly deploying the application of 4.0 Technologies in social management, economics and business activities of enterprises. All Provinces in this region have local digital transformation strategies with specific action programs.

Ho Chi Minh City – The pillar in the Southeast Provinces quickly deploying High-tech Parks

Ho Chi Minh City takes the lead in the Vietnam country in building and developing Quang Trung Software Park (QTSC). After 22 years of establishment (2001-2023), QTSC is the only software center in Vietnam that attracts more than 150 businesses. This place creates nearly 700 products and technology solutions that not only serve the domestic market but also serve export. Since 2016, QTSC has been allowed by the Government to do franchise business and set up a chain of software parks, contributing to the widespread development of applications of the 4.0 Revolution to other localities. In accordancw with KPMG’s assessment results, QTSC ranked at 3rd out of 08 technology parks in Asia. Quang Trung Software Park brand has been recognized by the international community, contributing to building a national brand for the IT and software industry, contributing to making Vietnam as one world leader in outsourcing services in terms of the field of software, becoming the world’s most attractive destination for IT investment attraction.

In addition, the bright spot in science and technology development in Ho Chi Minh City is as follows: The city invested tens of billions of VN dong to build the infrastructure of District 9 High-Tech Park (Saigon High Tech Park – SHTP). By the end of June 2022, SHTP High-Tech Park attracted 160 projects (currently, being valid), of which 70 are high-tech manufacturing projects; 19 high-tech service projects; 19 research and implementation projects; 09 training and incubation projects; 23 High-Tech supporting industry projects; 09 commercial and service projects; 11 infrastructure development projects. Among the 51 FDI projects, there are brands of world-famous high-tech corporations listed as Intel, Jabil (USA), Nidec, Nipro, NTT (Japan), Samsung (Korea), Datalogic (Italy) and so on. Research and development activities are paid attention and supported by Ho Chi Minh City. Research and development activities are paid attention and supported by the city. In this High-tech Park, a Nanotechnology Laboratory has been established under the Research and Implementation Center established under Decision No. 19/QD-KCNC dated on February 9, 2010 of the High-Technology Park Management Board. The functions and the tasks of the Department are to carry out scientific research and technological development in the fields of nanotechnology, new materials, renewable energy and experimental production of scientific products. Ho Chi Minh City has supported the building of a number of science and technology organizations, contributing to turning Ho Chi Minh City into a high-tech center of Vietnam:

• R&D research center in the City High-Tech Park;

• Innovation and Startup Support Initiative Center under the Department of Science and Technology (Department of Science and Technology) of Ho Chi Minh City;

• Center for Biotechnology;

• New Equipment Design and Manufacturing Center (Neptech);

• Circuit Design Research Center serving the electronics industry;

• Institute of Computational Science and Technology;

• Nanotechnology Laboratory – Ho Chi Minh City National University;

• Technology business incubators;

• Since 2012, the Department of Science and Technology of Ho Chi Minh City has deployed and put into operation the annual Ho Chi Minh City technology and equipment market (Techmart) in direct and online forms in accordance with the topics of biology and medical equipment, tools for agriculture and so on. Techmart creates a trading floor connecting supply and demand for technology, stimulating innovation activities and applying science and technology to social life. This type of technology equipment market contributes to promoting technology development in the Southeast Region;

• 20 years ago, Ho Chi Minh City did advocate planning to build many high-tech medical areas (centers): Tan Binh, Thu Duc, Tan Kien (Binh Chanh); Hoa Lam Shangri-La High-tech Medical Park and so on. Although the implementation speed was not fast, it was the right direction in the high-tech development strategy, contributing an important part in implementing Resolution No. 36-NQ/TW dated on January 30, 2023 by the Politburo regarding the development and the application of biotechnology to serve the country’s sustainable development in the new situation.

Author Group: Meritorious Teacher. Prof. Dr. Vo Thanh Thu – Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics (UEH), MSc. Pham Quang Van – Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.

This is an article in the series of articles spreading research and applied knowledge from UEH with the “Research Contribution For All – Nghiên Cứu Vì Cộng Đồng” message, UEH cordially invites readers to watch the next Newsletter ECONOMIC No #84.

News, photos: Author Group, UEH Department of Marketing and Communication