Sci-Tech Leverages Development Momentum

8:14:00 AM | 11/4/2022

As one of key agricultural provinces in the Mekong Delta and in Vietnam, Soc Trang has stepped up scientific and technological application to production to increase productivity and product value. This approach has affirmed the role and position of science and technology in socioeconomic development. Madam Vu Thi Hieu Dong, Director of Soc Trang Department of Science and Technology, gives an exclusive interview to Vietnam Business Forum, about this effort. Ngoc Tung reports.

How do you think about the growth of  science and technology and its contributions to local socioeconomic development in the 30 years since the province was re-established?

Moving with the development of Soc Trang, over the years, the science and technology sector has tried its best to assist the province to achieve its social and economic goals. Science and technology have been gradually put into life and business practice; always adhering to Party and government guidelines and policies. The agricultural sector accounts for most of research projects and applications of the science and technology sector.

Accordingly, the sector has focused on applying scientific and technological advances to select fragrant rice varieties and high-productive rice varieties resistant to brown planthopper; and breed and select aromatic rice varieties for local farmers. These rice varieties are the source of materials for hybridizing high-quality and productive ST rice varieties such as ST24 and ST25. In 2021, the Project on "Research, selection and development of Soc Trang fragrant rice varieties ST24 and ST25 in 2008-2016" was awarded Ho Chi Minh Prize in Science and Technology by the President of Vietnam. In addition, the province has created, managed and developed the certified brand of “Thanh Tri Rice”.

With vegetables and fruit trees, the Department of Science and Technology has invested advanced technological applications to build fruit and vegetable production models such as IoT application in farming. Safe organic farming methods are gradually received by people. With practical technological applications, local fruit and vegetable products carry their own characteristics, including purple onion, artemia, Trinh Phu purple star apple and Cu Lao Dung fruits.

In particular, the application of technological advances to aquaculture and fishing has produced practical effects. Large-scale commercial black tiger shrimp farming has developed stronger than in other provinces in the region and created a solid foundation for the aquatic processing industry of the province. In recent years, information technology application to manage the living environment in brackish water shrimp ponds in Soc Trang province has become more and more robust and helped increase environmental protection and economic value.

Additionally, studies on social sciences and humanities have focused on researching solutions for preserving and promoting various types of culture and folk art; historical and cultural values. These studies have helped preserve and promote the value of national cultural identity and tourism development.

How did Soc Trang determine its strengths and development direction for science and technology for the 2021-2025 period? To make further breakthroughs and meet socioeconomic development and international integration requirements, what solutions and strategies has the province proposed to support enterprises to improve their competitiveness and sustainable development?

Executing resolutions of the Party Congress at all levels, the focused work of the science and technology sector in the coming time is aligning scientific and technological research and application with actual social needs; speeding up the transfer and application of scientific and technological advances and achievements to boost production and raise innovation-based productivity and product quality; and notably utilizing achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on operation and development of the province's socioeconomic development.

In 2021 - 2025, in addition to general orientations, the science and technology sector will focus resources to effectively implement the following contents: Plan 136/KH-UBND dated September 9, 2021 of the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee on Soc Trang participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution in 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030, which focuses on applying Industry 4.0 achievements to gradually enact digital transformation policies; Plan 110/KH-UBND dated July 13, 2021 of the Provincial People’s Committee on implementation of the Soc Trang Intellectual Property Strategy and Intellectual Property Development Program in 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030; and Decision 36/QD-TTg dated January 11, 2021 of the Prime Minister on the Master Plan for technologically driven productivity improvement in 2021 - 2030.

To raise the Provincial Competitiveness Index (PCI) and the District and Department Competitiveness Index (DDCI), what key tasks will the Department of Science and Technology concentrate on in the coming time?

The department will further promote publicity and transparency of settling administrative procedures and importantly improve service quality for people and businesses. Currently, the department has 46 administrative procedures under its jurisdiction, with all being delivered through online public service portals: 23 procedures of Category 4, three procedures of Category 3; and 14 procedures of Category 2. Currently, receiving administrative procedures is concentrated at the Provincial Public Administration Service Center. All records are processed by department employees. Every year, with results of customer surveys, the quality and time of settling administrative procedures are rated “good”. Moreover, the Department of Science and Technology advised the Provincial People’s Committee to apply the TCVN ISO 9001:2015 quality management system to all 151 administrative agencies in the province, including all 31 provincial agencies, all 11 district administrative units and all 109 commune-level administrative units.

While reforming administrative procedures, the department will also support businesses to foster innovation and digital transformation, seen as the basis for creating breakthroughs in productivity, quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy; continue to carry out Decision 1702/QD-UBND dated July 16, 2018 of the Soc Trang Provincial People’s Committee ratifying Soc Trang Innovative Startup Project in 2018-2020, with a vision to 2025; maintain the advisory group responsible for supporting enterprises to invest in technological and equipment innovations, register for industrial property protection, improve product quality and productivity, and connect businesses with internal and external support programs. The department will coordinate with the Soc Trang Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project in supporting innovation startups.

In addition, the Department will strengthen connectivity with institutes and universities to research, apply and transfer scientific and technological advances to production to upgrade their capacity to this effect to speed up digital transformation, unlock local potential and advantages, and bolster socioeconomic development.

With determination and effort, in 2022, the science and technology sector of Soc Trang province will help connect and support people and businesses and adapt to new conditions for sustainable development and prosperity of the province.

Thank you  very much!

By Vietnam Business Forum