Aus4Innovation, an Australian development assistance program, has offered a grant worth AUD1.5 million (US$1.13 million) to fund innovation in Vietnam.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said at a meeting held in Hanoi recently that Aus4Innovation has kicked off a 2021 funding round in Vietnam for innovative ideas, which have already been tested.
The fund will be provided on a competitive basis, and grantees will have up to 12 months to implement their proposed activities, Robyn Mudie added.
The innovation partnership grants are a critical feature of the Aus4Innovation program. The purpose of the grants is to scale up already tested activities that address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam's innovation system.
For his part, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy affirmed that this funding round of the Aus4Innovation is very appropriate to current context, when the Vietnamese government has approved the National Digital Transformation Program.
Australia funds US$1.13 million for innovation in Vietnam. File photo
"Vietnam thanks the Australian government and looks forward to seeing breakthrough applications of technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things or blockchain with the potential to create far-reaching effects in this funding round," Duy said.
Under the theme “Enhancing digital transformation”, this funding round will focus on initiatives that have the potential to drive economic transformation towards the recovery of Vietnam's economy after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fields recommended for candidates include smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, digital health, smart education, smart city, finance and banking, e-government, environment and resources, among others.
Aus4Innovation is a four-year collaboration between Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and National Science Agency (CSIRO) and Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
In 2018-22 Australia and Vietnam are together exploring emerging areas of technology and digital transformation, trialing new models for partnerships between public and private sector institutions, and strengthening Vietnamese capability in digital foresight, scenario planning, commercialization, and innovation policies. This wide range of support activities and flexible approaches allows for rapid iteration of programming to ensure it will deliver lasting impact at the system level.
The applications can be submitted from now until April 4. The applications will be reviewed based on a set of criteria including partnerships, innovation, readiness, relevance to and potential impacts on Vietnam’s digital transformation process, social impacts, and Covid-19 adaptability.
More information on Aus4Innovation can be seen at website: https://research.csiro.au/aus4innovation/activities/grants/key-information-for-applications