The event showcased IPP results, thematic group discussions, networking activities, and an open forum on “Developing a sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem”.
The IPP, an official development assistance (ODA) programme funded by the Vietnamese and Finnish governments, has been jointly carried out by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Finland’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. It targets long-term benefits for the Vietnamese economy and innovation system.
Starting in 2014 with a budget of EUR11 million, its second phase (IPP2) has provided financial assistance, consultation, and training for 35 startup-related projects. A number of these projects were aimed at developing a sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation (E&I) ecosystem in Vietnam, including its formation within universities. From 2016, IPP2 has supported Vietnamese universities and other educational organisations in building their E&I training and broader offering, including ecosystem ties.
IPP2 has also brought veteran international experts to take part in the country’s making of policies such as Programme 844 on supporting the national startup ecosystem by 2015, a revised law on technology transfer, and the regulation on startups and venture funds.
Based on real-life conduction, it issued a range of knowledge products, including a financial assistance tool for innovative startups, a set of documents on developing innovation capacity, and two materials discussing policies for startup financing and promoting the role of universities in E&I ecosystem development.
Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said the IPP is considered an important link between Vietnam and Finland in the area of startups and innovation, particularly as the two countries are celebrating their 45-year diplomatic relations this year.
IPP2 is a pioneer in pushing the formation and development of the E&I ecosystem in Vietnam, he stressed.
Lauri Laakso, chief advisor of IPP2, said IPP2 has been carrying out the Vietnam Market Access and Partnership Programme since 2017 to help Finnish small- and medium-sized enterprises study the Vietnamese market and seek partnerships.
The activity marked a new stage in Vietnam-Finland ties, which is switching from ODA provision to a mutually beneficial cooperation, he added.