VUSTA aimed to boost partnership with Japanese counterparts

Posted at: TUEsday - 08/11/2016 10:35 - post name: Cộng tác viên

Mr. Takebe Tsutomu, President of TOA took photo with VUSTA delegation

Mr. Takebe Tsutomu, President of TOA took photo with VUSTA delegation

To implement the resolution of the VII National Congress of VUSTA in the period 2015-2020, VUSTA aimed to extend its international cooperation with Asian partners in Japan, South Korea and member countries of ASEAN. In realizing the 2016 action plan of VUSTA, a delegation headed by VUSTA’s Vice President Nghiem Vu Khai went to Japan from 11 to 16 of September.

        The objective of the visit was to introduce VUSTA’s and member organizations’ activities, demand and cooperative opportunities with Japanese partners; to create partnerships with Japanese Science and Technology Organizations, open cooperative opportunities for member organizations of VUSTA. In the context of strategic partnership between Viet Nam and Japan, the establishment of science and technology cooperation’s is given high priority with great potential. It is also an urgent need to promote the integration of Vietnam with the region and global economy.

Within the five days of working in Japan, the Delegation had met with various state management agencies, research institutions, science and technology organizations, professional associations in science and technology of Japan. The meetings aimed at exchanges about policy and law to promote the science and technology development, high quality technical human resource development, transferring technology, disseminating scientific knowledge, mobilizing investment from the public and private sector for science and technology Research and Development of Japan. Below is the summary of the main result

         Science and technology cooperation in agriculture, environmental protection and enhancing comparative competitiveness.

       Thanks to the helpful arrangement of the TOA Institution, the inviting partner from Japan, the VUSTA delegation had met with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and technology of Japan (MEXT), Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fishery to learn about policy related to science and technology development in agriculture, environmental protection to enhance the comparative competitiveness of Japan. Besides, the visit with the Science Council of Japan has provided the delegation members with fruitful information of a organizations with such similar mandate and mission like VUSTA.

At the meeting with the representative of MEXT, the Delegation was briefed about policy of Japan to encourage investment from the public and private sector in research and development to develop science and technology of the country. At the moment, Japan is in the 5thScience and technology Basic Plan (2016-2020) with the total investment from state budget of about 260 billion USD, which accounted for one fifth of the total investment in R&D of the country, according to MEXT. The rest of four fifth of the amount comes from private sector. The annual 2016 state budget for science and technology is 34.56 billion USD of which MEXT manage 65% of the budget, the rest are managed by other ministries. The system of science and technology institutions includes 779 universities (604 are private universities), 10 national research institutions and 4 inter-university research institutes (15 institutions). Remarkably, amongst those institutions, the 10 state institution are the main actors in managing and providing funding for science and technology research and development projects (RIKEN, NIMS, QST, JAMSTEC, JAEA, JAXA, NIED, JSPS, JST, AMED).

Japan has a parallel system of the two approach in channeling the investment for science and technology research, namely the top-down and bottom-up approach. The top-down approach operates in the way that state research institutes (JST, AMED) have to base on the socio-economic trends and the basic plan for science and technology to set strategy and goals for R&D innovation, then they will assign the competence agency to implement research project to meet with the set-forth goals. While the top-down approach means that all innovations from scientists, regardless of the socio-economic trend and national basic plan, are proposed to the Japan Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) for consideration of funding.

        The Delegation was introduced briefly about the main objectives in the Japan’s 5thScience and Technology Basic plan, particularly the international cooperation programs in science and technology that Japan dedicates to Asia and South East Asia countries. Some programs were the exchange program for ASIA Young Scientist – Sakura Science Program, the joint-research for ASEAN, E-ASEAN. These are useful information for member of the Delegation to share with other organizations in VUSTA system about opportunities for cooperation.

At the meeting with Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, ministry had briefed the Delegation about basic plan for research in agriculture of Japan. The plan has identified main objectives and policies needed to realize these objectives. A member of VUSTA delegation had exchanged about the possibility of cooperation in the areas of transfer bio-technology for water treatment in the areas of fishery cultivation of Thai Binh province. Representative from Hai Phong Provincial union of science and technology also requested the support to conduct a cooperation program to train owners of fishery farms in Hai Phong city. The Vice Minister had noted the request and assigned the relevant officers to follow-up after the delegation return to Viet Nam.


Meeting with Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

The Science Council of Japan has a lot of similarities with VUSTA. SCJ is the representative organization of Japanese scientist community ranging over all fields of sciences subsuming humanities, social sciences, life sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. SCJ was established in January 1949 as a "special organization" under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister, operating independently of the government, for the purpose of promoting and enhancing the field of science, and having science reflected in and permeated into administration, industries and people's lives. It represents Japan's scientists both domestically and internationally with the firm belief that science is the foundation upon which a civilized nation is built.

Following are its two functions:

(1) To deliberate on important issues concerning science and help solve such issues; and (2) To make coordination among scientific studies to achieve higher efficiency.  

SCJ is extremely active in its deliberations, helping to improve and develop science in Japan, and strengthening the inseparable alliance with the Council for Science and Technology Policy, which is the command center for Japan’s science and technology policies.

  • Policy recommendations to the government and public
  • International activities
  • Promotion of scientific literacy
  • Establishment of networks among scientists


Vice President of SCJ, Mr. Keisuke Hanakitook photo with VUSTA delegation

        Science Council of Japan (SCJ) consists of 210 Council Members and some 2,000 Members, elected as representatives of the approximately 840,000 scientists nationwide. The General Assembly is composed of Council Members and is the highest decision-making body. It basically meets twice a year (April and October).Council Members are selected and recommended from amongst scientists with excellent accomplishments in their research or achievements, and are appointed by the Prime Minister. Their term of membership is six years, and half of the Council Members are newly appointed every three years.Members perform in cooperation with Council Members. They are selected and recommended from amongst scientists with excellent accomplishments in their research or achievements, and are appointed by SCJ President. In principle, their term of membership is six years. In principle, SCJ President is elected by Council members and the three Vice Presidents are appointed by President with approval of the General Assembly. The term of President and Vice presidents is three years, with possibility of extended or re-elected.

SCJ receive approximately 10 million USD from state budget. SCJ is not allowed to receive funding from any other sources. Every year, SCJ conducts activities from a universal perspective and a comprehensive and multifaceted point of view, taking advantage of the fact that SCJ is comprised of scientists from a broad-range of fields spanning over humanities, social sciences, life sciences, natural sciences and engineering.

             High-quality human resource development

With regard to high-quality human resource development, the Delegation meet with the following three organizations: Japan National Institute of Technology (KOSEN); Overseas Human resource and Industry Development Associations (HIDA); and the Institution of Professional Engineers, Japan (IPEJ). Members of delegation were introduced about the function and tasks of such institutions which provide high quality human resource for Japan and other countries in the world.

      HIDA was established after the merger of the Association for Overseas technical Scholarship and the Japan Overseas Development Cooperation in March 2012. HIDA has the mission to facilitate mutual economic development and friendly relationship between Japan and other countries through implementing projects aims at promoting the internationalization of industries and trade, as well as encouraging investment activities and international economic cooperation. HIDA implement technical cooperation training programs overseas and in Japan.

Via the network of alumni of HIDA and the HIDA Research Institution and the Institute for Management and Technology, HIDA organize market research activities, information sharing, connecting partnership between Japan enterprises with their counterparts from developing countries. Since 1959-2015, HIDA trained 24.000 Vietnamese and sent 704 experts to Viet Nam to work.

At the meeting with the Institution of Professional Engineers, Japandelegation of VUSTA was introduced about the history of establishment and development of the association, especially the role of IPEJ in providing continuous training for engineers, accrediting professional engineers of Japan. Besides, IPEJ also provide basic training curricula for technical universities. IPEJ leaders shared and opened the opportunity to support VUSTA in development of the plan to set up the Federation of Professional Engineers Viet Nam.

The experience about the Law on Professional Engineers, Charter of the Institution, Code of conduct for professional engineers and the training program as well as the examination and accreditation process were shared at the meeting.


Seminar with the IPEJ

         Japan Consulting Engineer Association (JCEA) is the precedent institution of IPEJ, was found in 1951 according to the Law on Professional Engineers Japan. Although found in 1951, but until 1984 that the Law on Professional Engineer recognized IPEJ as the authorized institution to conduct national examination and certification of Japan’s professional engineers. MEXT is the state management agency of the examination and certification which provide oversight on the process and ensure the quality of the engineers.

This is a typical example of transferring state services to professional associations to foster the role of associations and release the burden of state administrative bodies.

          Capacity building for VUSTA is the topic share with the representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency. The proposed program by VUSTA aims at enhancing capacity of VUSTA in organizational and human resource to promote international cooperation in science and technology between VUSTA and their counterparts in Japan. The proposal idea was well received and appreciated by leader of JICA Tokyo office. VUST will further detail the program and exchange with JICA in Viet Nam.

         Law on promotion of nonprofit activities (NPO law) of Japan

         In the framework of the visit, the delegation has opportunities to learn about legal framework for operation of associations, non-governmental organizations in Japan. The important law in Japan is Law to promote Specified Nonprofit Activities.

          NPO law of Japan allows civil society organizations to easily acquire nonprofit corporation status. It was established on March 19, 1998, and came into force on December 1 of that same year. A major difference between this and previous laws was that it came about as a result of many ideas being passed back and forth. Ordinary people transcended factions to engage in dialog with Diet members, holding study sessions and gatherings throughout the country during the process. Their aim was to affirm the “public interest activities of citizens” and legislate accordingly. 

The NPO law of Japan is comprised of 4 Chapter and 50 articles and one annex of amendments. The remarkable feature of the law is the clear definition of “specified nonprofit activities” and “nonprofit organizations”, areas of operation that are allowed and not allowed, roles and responsibilities of nonprofit organizations and the clear guidance on establishment, operation, report requirements and prohibited actions as well as measures of remedies for each cases of violation.

Beside NPO law, Japan have other specified law on the operation and function of different organizations. For example, the Nippon Foundation is an independent, non-profit, grant-making organization founded in 1962. It was established by legislation for the purpose of carrying out philanthropic activities using revenue from motorboat racing. The IPEJ is a Public Interest Incorporated Institution.


Mr. Tatsuya Tanami, Vice President of Nippon Foundation presented token to Vice President of VUSTANghiêm Vũ Khải

          In conclusion, the delegation has successfully completed the visit, in which all objectives set forth were met. The program has rich in content and diversified partners that pave the way for future collaboration of VUSTA with their counterparts in Japan. The following-up activities will be continued after the delegation come back to Viet Nam, with the focal contact point is the Department for International Cooperation of VUSTA. VUSTA will soon set up meeting with JICA Viet Nam to further develop the project idea and facilitate the cooperation of its members with Japan institutions with similar function in the future.

Author: Dương Thị Nga
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