Increasing emphasis on integrating innovation hubs into industrial parks is signifying a fresh direction in collaborative initiatives aimed at enhancing Vietnam’s industrial advancement.

Vietnam’s Becamex IDC Corporation and Singapore’s Sembcorp, two pivotal stakeholders of the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP), has unveiled the Vietnam-Singapore Innovation Centre in the southern province of Binh Duong.

This marked another step in a longstanding collaboration that has borne much fruit, including ventures such as the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial 4.0 Innovation Centre, the Advanced Entrepreneurship and Production Centre, and Block71 Saigon.

Spanning 27 years, the VSIP’s success in fostering industrial growth across Vietnam is clear. But with this new centre, the focus sharpens on innovation.

A representative from the newly minted Vietnam-Singapore Innovation Centre said, “Our mission goes beyond mere technological advancement. We’re striving to elevate Binh Duong’s brand presence, develop scientific acumen, nurture top-tier talent, and offer a vision for a tech-forward industrial park.”

Taking inspiration from Sweden’s Triple Helix Model of Innovation, the centre will actively facilitate a threefold synergy between academia, industry, and the government.

Pham Hong Quat, director-general of the National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation, said “While innovation hubs have become staple institutions in regions like Europe, Vietnam is only beginning to explore their potential. Hurdles, including the absence of an integrated ecosystem, have stunted their growth,” Quat said.

Earlier in July, Bloom., the nation’s debut centre for food and beverage (F&B) innovation designed by Tetra Pak in collaboration with DenEast, was launched in Binh Duong. The centre will fast-track the transition of F&B brand ideas into concrete concepts and enable small-scale production for market testing.

CEO of DenEast Vietnam Johan Boden said, “One standout characteristic is its ability to provide a comprehensive service under one roof, transforming mere ideas into tangible products.”

“The centre is interconnected with all Tetra Pak development hubs worldwide, enabling us to tap into a global pool of competencies for efficient problem-solving. We’re committed to forming robust partnerships with industry leaders in ingredient sourcing and recipe development. This approach allows us to establish a vast network capable of resolving queries from all angles and swiftly launching new products,” he said.

Eliseo Barcas, managing director of Tetra Pak Vietnam said, “Bloom. demonstrates our long-term commitment to Vietnam, playing a vital role in the nation’s innovative and transformative goals, and unlocking the vast potential of the local F&B sector.”

According to Quat, the key to a successful innovation hub lies not only in its physical infrastructure but also in its ability to connect with talent, provide training, and integrate with local businesses.

Quat illustrated this by giving the example of beautifully packaged water bottles, emphasising that customers are not only buying the water but also purchasing a fusion of creative design, environmentally friendly packaging, and design talent.

“It is the epitome of a circular economic model where design revolves around cultural and artistic values. Innovation centres are playing a crucial role in fostering the best innovative ideas and cultivating invaluable intellectual assets,” he said.

“In ASEAN’s innovation rankings, Vietnam holds the third position, a significant leap some five years after the country’s innovation drive began. However, the country is yet to establish connections with Europe’s innovation hubs,” Quat said. “I propose we intensify our efforts to foster relationships and collaborations with universities, vocational training institutions, faculty, and students. These breeding grounds for new technological ideas will be crucial in propelling Vietnam’s innovation drive forwards.”

Nguyen Trung Tin, director of Binh Duong Industrial Zones Management Board, underlined that out of the 29 zones established, 27 were already operational.

“Moving forward, the province aims to pivot its investment attraction strategy towards specialised, eco-friendly, and innovative zones to foster a fresh appeal,” Tin said.

Source: VIR

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