Samsung R&D centre hitting stride

The Samsung Vietnam Mobile Research and Development Centre (SVMC) in Hanoi has contributed around 10% of software market share used in Samsung's smart phones and tablets globally.

The SVMC has implemented about 360 projects of which 40 are globally used solutions while the remaining commercialised software projects belonged to the centre.

Do Duc Dung, head of the SVMC's project management office told media on December 2 that SVMC is the largest Research and Development (R&D) centre in the Southeast Asian region. Samsung has 25 R&D centres specialising in research for its phones worldwide.

Established in February 2012, the centre has provided software for Samsung's smart phones and LTE network suppliers in the Southeast Asian region, Australia and New Zealand.

Over the past eight years, Vietnam has become the group's largest production location as its total committed investment is up to US$14.2 billion poured into Bac Ninh, Thai Nguyen provinces and Ho Chi Minh City. In addition, more than 30% of Samsung's mobile phones sold worldwide are produced in Vietnam.

The SVMC has over 1,500 employees who include just five foreign nationals. It can be seen that Samsung has striven to transfer technologies to Vietnam as per its commitment. Samsung planned to increase the number of staff at the centre to 2,600 by the year of 2018, Dung said.

He affirmed that capacity and skills of staff at the centre could be equal to its R&D centres in the world.

"90% of engineers at the SVMC attain Samsung's standards worldwide. Engineers in Vietnam and India are given the highest valuation from the parent company," Huh Chang Wan, the centre's vice president said.

He said the centre also worked with other R&D centres to train their personnel.

However, the quality of human resource in Vietnam has been a stumbling block not only for Samsung but for other foreign investors as well.

Do Ngoc Trong, an engineer at the centre said that the knowledge of the Vietnamese employees is not lower than that of other countries. They just lack communication and other soft skills.

Graduate students do not have much experience in working at the SVMC. The centre often imparts at least six months training to students for them to be eligible to work there.

The centre has not only been in charge of the Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand markets, but also participated in several Samsung's global projects such as electronic S Pen for Note and Galaxy smart phones.

It said it had completed 10 software projects serving the Southeast Asian region in the first year of operations. By the end of this year, it is expected that around 10 software projects would be completed.

Last year, the SVMC had only three patents, but the number increased to 10 in the first half of this year.

Wan said the SVMC was looking to expand its market and join Samsung's global projects. It would produce advanced technologies and look to new global trends.

The centre would also employ several thousand people for its R&D activities in the future.