Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has decided to increase funding for innovation in Vietnam by AUD3.5 million (US$2.7 million), raising the total grant to AUD13.5 million (US$10.4 million), which will be channeled via Aus4Innovation, an Australian development assistance program, for the period of 2017-2022.
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Robyn Mudie said at a recent meeting with Minister of Science and Technology Huynh Thanh Dat on the occasion of Vietnam Science and Technology Day.
Ambassador Robyn Mudie reaffirmed that the program will be implemented in the second phase to 2035.
The innovation partnership grants are a critical feature of the Aus4Innovation program with the purpose of scaling up already tested activities that address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam's innovation system, the ambassador added.
Minister Huynh Thanh Dat, Deputy Minister Bui The Duy, Ambassador Robyn Mudie and delegates pose at the working session. Photo: Vneconomy
For his part, Minister Huynh Thanh Dat said that this is a valuable resource to help realize innovation initiatives in the transition period of the Aus4Innovation to 2022 and create more solid premises for the second phase of the program until 2035.
“The Aus4Innovaiton has had a comprehensive and substantial impact as well as promoted capacity and cooperation among elements of the innovation ecosystem in Vietnam. Over the past three years, the creative forces of Vietnam and Australia within the framework of the program have jointly created and achieved many outstanding marks,” Dat said.
Among the achievements, the minister cited the design for the future of Vietnam’s digital economy, econometric models which measure the impact of technology on economic growth, the support of Australian experts in the design of indicators assessment for developing Vietnam's Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy to 2030.
The innovation projects involving the institutes, universities and enterprises of the two countries with the two funding rounds in 2019 and 2020 have initially gained a lot of achievements, contributing to socio-economic development and improving people's life quality, Dat noted.
The most recent are initiatives to promote the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, organize the Vietnam AI Festival 2020, support creative AI startups and propagate and build capacity to implement Vietnam's AI Strategy in the coming time, he added.
Aus4Innovation is a four-year collaboration between Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology.
In 2017-22, 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.