Germany helps improve Vietnam’s SMEs via innovation programme

The Central Innovation Programme for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), also known as ZIM, was introduced to Vietnamese and German firms and organisations at a workshop in Berlin on June 12.

The ZIM programme has been carried out within the framework of a letter of intent on scientific and technological cooperation signed in December 2012 between the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It looks to help transfer advanced technologies and improve the technical capacity of SMEs and scientific-technological organisations in Vietnam.

Tran Dong, Counsellor for Science and Technology at the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany, said the workshop was one of the three similar events held by the MoST to introduce the ZIM programme. The two previous events took place in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in late May.

The Berlin workshop aimed to give instructions on the approval process, financial mechanisms and methods for supporting the connection of Vietnamese and German scientists and businesses.

He added that during the Vietnam visit last March by German Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the European country to assist Vietnam to develop SMEs and some other fields, including digital technology, startups and innovation.

Meanwhile, Counsellor Dang Chung Thuy at the Vietnamese Embassy highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation in researching, developing and commercialise technologies in the two countries' SMEs.

He noted that with a dynamic economy, the Government's efforts, the private sector's investment and human resource advantages, Vietnam is becoming a startup and innovation hub in Asia-Pacific.

Felix Richter, Coordinator for International Cooperation at AiF Projekt GmbH, said apart from Vietnam, the ZIM programme has cooperated with 25 other countries. Each year, it issues announcements to invite businesses to propose feasible projects to seek funding.

He expressed his hope that the programme will expand its sponsorship scope to attract more SMEs and foster cooperation between the two countries.

Source: People's Army Newspaper