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Commercialization of Research through Spin-off Enterprises in Vietnam During the 1990s
Erik Baark, Mai Hà, Pham Tuan Huy and Pham Thi Bích Ngoc

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Science and technology policy in Vietnam has been dominated by a linear model of innovation and the influence of a centralized science management approach transferred from the Soviet Union. However, after the Vietnamese Government embarked on reforms introducing a combination of market driven and State regulated economic mechanisms in the 1980s, scientific organizations were encouraged to commercialize research. In the transition, the leading research organization, known as National Center of Natural Science and Technology (NCNST), pursued technological development in addition to scientific research, and started to establish the first spin-off enterprises to commercialize its innovations. This paper employs institutional analysis to delineate the experience of the spin-off ventures on the basis of government resolutions to support the establishment of spin-off firms, together with the basic institutional requirements such as the autonomy of organizations and the need to mobilize capital for startup funding. Combined with a few case studies, this analysis shows that commercialization of research is difficult in a transition economy without institutional reforms that fully support autonomy, and encourages markets and financial support for spin-off ventures.  

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