In December 2014 Finland and Vietnam launched the second phase of their Innovation Partnership Program (IPP), designed to target positive socio-economic impact and long-term benefits for the Vietnamese innovation system. IPP is looking to facilitate joint venture, import and export activities and the transfer of technology with tech firms based out of Vietnam.
This Official Development Assistance program works with key national and international partners as well as top innovation teams to support Vietnam’s 2020 economic goals and increase the export of innovative products and services.
The IPP Innovation Accelerator provides world-class practical innovation and entrepreneurship training, connections and matching funding for resourcing the innovation projects of Vietnamese new innovative companies as well as consortiums that are developing support services for high-growth start-ups in Vietnam.
IPP is now collecting Proposals for the Innovation Accelerator from two types of teams:
New Innovative High Growth Company Projects or Innovation System Development Consortium Projects. Teams can submit their proposal by 4 May, of which only around 20 projects will be supported in 2015.
The projects will be carefully selected from proposals based on market need assessment and capacity to implement the new innovation. The evaluation and selection of proposals is a competitive, fair and transparent process.
In early 2015 IPP organized co-creation workshops for information sharing and discussions in the four focus regions Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho.
IPP’s Senior Innovation Adviser Mr. Riku Mäkelä encouraged Finnish organisations to take IPP into account in their planning related to Vietnam.
“A company registered in Vietnam looking for fast growth in international markets is welcome to apply for IPP’s support for its innovation project. We have no limitations in terms of company ownership, as long as its success will benefit the Vietnamese economy. Finnish entrepreneurs and enterprises are warmly welcome to contact us regarding their ideas for starting up a spin-off or joint venture in Vietnam.”
In May a delegation of Finnish businesses will also visit Vietnam to meet and explore potential partnership with Vietnam based firms.
During 2015 – February 2018 IPP will co-organise frequent events in Vietnam and the ASEAN area; provide training and seed funding for new innovative companies and actors that are supporting these companies; and develop a national innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum.
The program aims to build local innovation capabilities and increase the production of innovative solutions to international markets. IPP is part of the Team Finland network in Vietnam and it works closely with Finnish innovation and business support organisations, including Tekes and Finpro.
At the launch of the second phase Mr. Tran Quoc Khanh, Vice Minister of Science & Technology and Mr. Kimmo Lähdevirta, the Ambassador of Finland to Vietnam emphasized the significance of the program for both countries – it will target mutually beneficial partnerships between Finland and Vietnam in the current transition phase from development assistance to broad economic cooperation.
“Vietnam has all what it needs to make innovation a success. We will be surprised how easy it is to make innovation happen when we work with the right partners”, Mr. Lähdevirta concluded.
Building on the foundation laid during the first phase (2009 – 2013) as a pioneering program on innovation in Vietnam, Phase 2 will have a total budget of 11 million euros, including 90% from the Finnish Government’s ODA, and the rest contributed by the Government of Vietnam. The competent authorities of IPP2 are the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. IPP will work with leading national and international innovation partners to co-create appropriate solutions for supporting Vietnam innovation system.
In 2010, Vietnam gained a lower middle-income country status due to rapid economic growth, and, by 2020, Vietnam ambitiously aspires to become a modern industrialized country.