I was just part of an exciting initiative by Swedish University Outreach – a spinoff from Uppsala University. They have initiated a collaboration program with Ho Chi Minh City who are striving to enhance their welfare and become a hub of innovation in Asia. So to get there they need leading edge training to create plans to make it a reality. So as a leading researcher and practitioner in this field I was asked to have a five-day training program for around 30 universities and several public officials in Ho Chi Minh together with the director of Uppsala University Innovation. Altogether there were around 100 participants in the course, which covered everything from what innovation is, to what innovation management is, to how to implement innovation management systems, to what an innovation manager’s responsibilities are, to how to develop an innovation strategy, to understanding how innovation ecosystems work, to how to implement an innovation policy, to how IPR and patents work, to how to establish a technology transfer office, etc, etc… So technically the course covered most of what innovation management contains, but only at a brief level, since we only had five days.
This was a very interesting experience for me. What inspired me the most was the eagerness and the curiosity of the participants. They really want to make a change in Vietnam and they are very determined to do it. This inspires me even more. And there have already been requests for an intermediate course in Saigon, so if everything turns out well we are soon going back for further training courses. Vietnam is a beautiful country, so I don’t mind. 😉