Aus4Innovation (A4I) is an AUD $14.5 million development assistance program aims to strengthen Vietnam’s innovation system, prepare for and embrace opportunities associated with Industry 4.0, and help shape Vietnam’s innovation agenda in science and technology.
This e-newsletter provides insight into recent highlights and future opportunities
Learning about mangrove forest in the south of Vietnam
Acting Deputy Head of Mission, Kate Wallace, paid a visit to Ca Mau province and met with Vice Chairman Le Van Su of Ca Mau’s People Committee. They discussed Australia’s priorities of collaboration in Vietnam, including economy and trade, innovation, agriculture, education and gender equality.
The Deputy Head of Mission also stopped by Dat Mui Forest, where she talked to the forest management board and local farmers, which provided valuable insights of the challenges and opportunities for the mangrove forest and shrimp farming.
This is where the AQUAM project, supported by the Aus4Innovation program, has installed one of the environment monitoring stations.
The project, implemented by University of Queensland and Vietnamese tech company Green Field Development, has installed 15 wireless environmental monitoring stations in Ca Mau province to monitor the mangrove water. This will help farmers and local authorities access real-time data about the water quality and respond quickly to environmental hazards.
Aus4Innovation recently welcomed Ambassador Andrew Goledzinowski to Hanoi.
In his first week, he spoke at two important innovation events. The National Conference on Science and Technology Market Development to promote the role of technology transfer and science and technology markets hosted by the Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and the AI4VN Summit, Vietnam’s leading platform for cutting-edge research and development in the field artificial intelligence, hosted by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Vietnamese Innovation Centre to leverage SME capacity
Australia’s University of Queensland and Vietnam’s Institute for Science, Technology and Innovation (VISTI) are working together to develop a new innovation centre model in Hanoi to help improve the innovation capacity of Vietnam’s SMEs, with funding and support from Aus4Innovation.
A series of consultation workshops were organised with the centre’s potential clients and other stakeholders, attracting more than 400 participants. The workshops helped VISTI and the University of Queensland better understand SMEs’ innovation and technology needs, to better shape the vision and stakeholder engagement of the centre.
Southern Horticulture Innovation Club to grow opportunities
As part of Aus4Innovation program, the Southern Horticulture Innovation Club was launched in Ho Chi Minh City to create a platform for researchers, businesses, government agencies, and farmers to explore and design new ways to deliver their fruit and vegetables into international markets.
The Club will promote innovation ideas, exchange information on available technology and opportunities, and collaborate on challenges facing the horticulture industry in Vietnam’s southern provinces. The Club is hosted by the Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Southern Vietnam. The Club has seen major interest with over 450 farmers, cooperatives and small businesses joining in just two months.
New postharvest tech introduced in Son La to reduce loss of goods
The CoolBot project has successfully installed eleven walk-in coolers and three refrigerated trucks using CoolBot technology for farmers and cooperatives in Moc Chau as pilots.
CoolBot technology uses controllers that allow conventional air-conditioning units to reach a temperature as low as 5oC. It has been proven to effectively reduce postharvest loss and is widely applied, especially in developing countries. It is an affordable solution to prevent loss and can help farmers tap into new market opportunities.
The project team is now seeking cooperation, customers and investors to take the solution to commercial scale.
The Coolbot project is funded by Aus4Innovation and implemented by Fresh Studio and Applied Horticultural Research from Australia.
Aus4Innovation sponsored Vietnam’s leading platform for cutting-edge research and development in the field artificial intelligence: Vietnam Artificial Intelligence Day (AI4VN).
AI4VN was held in September, and offered various activities including workshops, AI tech matching sessions, AI expo, and AI Awards, leading up to a final summit where the development strategy for AI in Vietnam was discussed with policy makers, researchers, corporates and the wider AI community.
Three Aus4Innovation funded projects, which apply AI to help with early breast cancer detection and environmental monitoring were showcased at the AI expo.
At the Summit, five AI products were awarded funding from Aus4Innovaiton through the AI Tech Matching Contest. This funding will support the AI products to increase their commercial readiness and connect with businesses through training, mentoring and business plan support for the founders.
Aus4Innovation is also sponsoring five initiatives with the most potential for application and commercialisation selected from the AI Tech Matching contest with training, mentoring, and business plan implementation.