More sponsors, higher hopes for engineering development

  • January 20, 2015

Though the State is the main sponsor for the majority of scientific research projects, state money alone cannot help develop the country’s science and technology efforts.

Vietnam,  mechanical engineering, scientists

The National Technology Renovation Fund has announced that it will begin considering proposed scientific research projects to fund in January 2015.

The fund will provide financial support to researchers to carry out pre-feasibility and feasibility studies to develop new technologies and technical solutions.

According to Hoang Van Phong, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Science and Technology, and chair of the management board of the National Technology Renovation Fund, VND300 billion will be disbursed by the fund in 2015.

This is good news for scientists who need  “incubators” for their works to develop.

However, analysts believe that VND300 million is just “a grain in the sea”, and that science and technology development must not rely on the state’s money.

Vietnamese scientists have many times hoped that the biggest problem in scientific research – the lack of capital – would be settled with new funding models. However, they have been discouraged because the models have not helped much.

The establishment of Vinashin, the shipbuilding state-owned corporation, once gave a ray of hope to mechanical engineers.

Vinashin, a powerful conglomerate, which was given the task of developing the shipbuilding industry, a key industry, was planning to make reasonable investments to help develop the country’s engineering industry.

Dr. Pham Duc Chinh from the Vietnam Engineering Institute said he then heard that Vinashin, backed by the State, would follow  Hong Kong’s development model by spending money to train skilled workers and design engineers, and would make reasonable investments in facilities to serve research and development.

However, this never happened as Vinashin collapsed because of heavy debts, and it was renamed the SBIC.

“No mechanical engineering research project related to shipbuilding and support industries has been reported so far,” Chinh said.

Also according to Chinh, Professor Nguyen Dang Hung, a renowned Viet Kieu scientist, who set up an engineering company specializing in fulfilling international contracts, tried to contact Vinashin many times, but received no reply.

Le Hoai Chau, a young PhD who runs an engineering consultancy company, specializing in providing optimal designs for force-bearing structures, has been trying to introduce his modern simulation programs, but the domestic engineering community has shown little interest in them.

A scientist, when asked to comment about the program on building a Vietnamese automobile industry initiated by the five most powerful mechanical engineering companies in Vietnam, noted that Vietnam’s engineering industry .would not be able to develop without support from the State.


Source: VietNamNet

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