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HCM City beefs up research investment   2009-01-23 - Viet Nam News

The city has decided to increase research spending in biotechnology, new materials, automation and information technology in an effort to help improve domestic businesses’ competitiveness.

Doctors at HCM City’s Pasteur Hospital decode the gene of the H5N1 virus in the laboratory.

In 2009, the city will provide VND60 billion (US$3.5 million) for scientists to do research in these fields. Last year’s overall research outlay was just VND50 billion.

"Technology has been playing an important part in the growth of HCM City," Phan Minh Tan, director of the Department of Science and Technology, told a year-end review meeting on Tuesday.

Tan said he hoped that with more spending, new products would be created and application of technology promoted to increase Vietnamese firms’ competitiveness.

He pointed to the need to encourage a closer relationship between research institutes and businesses to address the city’s social and economic issues.

A transaction floor for high-tech equipment is to be set up this year and around VND15 billion ($850,000) invested to develop new production technologies.

Achievements

Last year the city invested in several major research projects, including one to develop a high-capacity computer for the Calculation Science and Technology Institute, New Equipment Design and Manufacture Centre, and some international-standard research laboratories.

The department has petitioned the city administration to draft policies for attracting overseas Vietnamese experts.

"We support the idea of inviting expatriates to work on these projects," said Nguyen Van Truyen, director of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s HCM City office.

The Fund for Science and Technology Development was set up last year with VND50 billion ($2.85 million).

According to the department’s report, over 275 research projects were approved last year. Many of the technologies created through these projects have also been adopted by businesses.



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