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Australia funds US$1 million for Vietnam’s digital transformation projects
Anh Kiet 05:47, 2021/09/11
The projects selected for funding are not only practical regarding the application of advanced technologies in areas of critical need in Vietnam, but they are also very meaningful in today’s context.

The Australian government has partnered with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam to announced a grant of nearly AUD1.4 million (around US$1 million) for four high-tech application projects in the field of digital transformation.

The four initiatives have been funded within the framework of the Innovation Partnership Grants under the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Aus4Innovation Program.

The four projects, selected from nearly 70 applicants who responded to the call for proposals from Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants Round 3, “Enhancing Digital Transformation”, will be implemented through well-established partnerships between leading universities in both Australia and Vietnam, together with industry partners and local government agencies.

Adopting the most advanced technologies developed and tested in Australia, these projects are expected to deliver practical values to the innovation ecosystem and create a lasting socioeconomic impact in Vietnam.

 Certification of funding for projects. Photo: Aus4Innovation website

Congratulating the winners, Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam said that building on the success of previous Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants, the Australian side is delighted to continue supporting initiatives that address Vietnam’s most pressing socioeconomic growth challenges.

International collaboration in emerging areas of science and technology, like AI and IoT, will be especially important as the country recovers from Covid-19. The healthcare, natural disaster management, sustainable agriculture, and nature conservation sectors all provide opportunities for widespread digital transformation that will have a lasting positive impact, Robyn Mudie added.

For his part, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy noted the Covid-19 pandemic is reminding that digital transformation is essential for future social and economic development.

“The projects selected for funding are not only practical regarding the application of advanced technologies in areas of critical need in Vietnam, but they are also very meaningful in today’s context. We look forward to integrating these cutting-edge technologies into our innovation system, and the positive spill-over that they will facilitate here in Vietnam,” Duy stressed.

Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants are an important part of the AUD13.5 million (US$9.96 million) for the period of 2018-2022, providing support for eight high-tech projects. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, managed by Australia’s national science agency in strategic cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam.

The third round was approved by the Australian Government in response to Covid-19 and supports Vietnam’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic. Information about projects funded in the three rounds can be found on the Aus4Innovation website.

The first project is "Augmented reality to improve access to healthcare in remote areas" - an initiative to employ AR technology to improve the effectiveness of remote tele-mentorship between experts in urban centers and less-experienced healthcare staff in remote areas. 

"Smart Eye to improve sugar industry productivity" is the second project which develops a system incorporating drone technology and artificial intelligence of things (IoT) to allow local farmers in Thanh Hoa province to monitor the nutrition levels and disease prevalence in sugarcane fields, thereby improving productivity and reducing production costs. 

"AI/IoT Technology to enhance search and rescue capacity" is the third project that aims to enhance search and rescue operations in Vietnam during natural disasters by using the latest digital transformation technologies, including aerial vehicles (UAVs), artificial intelligence (AI), and remote sensing technology. 

The last project, "AI-powered dashboard for environment ecosystem management", is an initiative that brings together leading experts in artificial intelligence, machine learning, environmental engineering, and conservation biology to transform the environmental management of Tram Chim National Park.

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