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By  Ramesha Perera 30 November 2023 3 min read

Key points

  • Our Aus4Innovation program is a ten-year A$33.5 million flagship program aimed at strengthening Vietnam’s innovation system to support inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development.
  • We bring together Australian and Vietnamese universities to test and scale AI technologies for safer search and rescue efforts, crop sustainability solutions and environmental management.
  • It’s Australia’s AI Month, and we’re spotlighting our nation's AI proficiency and championing the responsible creation and adoption of AI.

Bridging oceans with technology, our Aus4Innovation program is a testament to the power of Australian-Vietnamese partnerships. In collaboration, we're developing exciting new strategies that utilise AI in multiple sectors from enhancing disaster response strategies to boosting agricultural efficiency.

AI for disaster responses and search and rescue

Aus4Innovation has helped Australian and Vietnamese innovators test and scale AI technologies to solve challenges and accelerate new opportunities.

One of the partnerships formed through Aus4Innovation is a research collaboration aimed at implementing world-class search and rescue efforts during and post disasters. 

Researchers from the University of Technology Sydney and Le Quy Don University in Vietnam bring together the latest advances in digital transformation technologies for search and rescue training activities. Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, AI and simulations, the team are developing a system for simulation training in different search and rescue scenarios. 

This will allow search and rescue workers in Vietnam to practice, and even fail, in a safe environment where expensive hardware, machinery, software systems and lives will not be at risk. Practicing in alternatives scenarios will help to minimise the sometimes-tragic consequences of rescue efforts.

The drone incorporates AI tech to assist with identifying missing people and valuable properties in search and rescue missions.

Bringing in the sugar with AI-driven solutions

With a total production area of more than 25 thousand hectares in the province of Thanh Hoa, sugarcane is the livelihood of thousands of rural Vietnamese households.

Through the Aus4Innovation program, the University of Wollongong and VIGREEN – a Vietnamese tech company, have developed an AI-driven system known as Smart Eye to help monitor and assess the health of sugarcane. 

Sugar-cane--The-project-team-is-also-collecting-images-as-input-data-to-help-AI-monitor-the-health-of crops
AI technology collects-images-as-input-data-to-help monitor-the-health-of crops..

Paired with a system of soil moisture sensors, a suite of useful data such as nutritional stress, water stress and leaf disease identification, Smart Eye helps farmers make timely decisions to protect their crops and sustain productivity. All this is delivered through a user-friendly mobile app. The technology has been adopted by the Lam Son Sugar Company. The biggest buyer of sugarcane in Thanh Hoa, they will support their farmers to use the app and equipment, such as drones.

Based on the success of Smart Eye, we hope this technology will be customised and replicated for other crops in Vietnam. This could include rice, fruits, vegetables, flowers, industrial crops. It could also prove useful in industries like forestry or aquaculture.

Transforming environmental management with AI

Tram Chim National Park is one of the five largest national parks in Vietnam. It is home to the threatened Plain of Reeds wetland with a habitat of over 230 bird and 130 fish species, including the iconic and endangered Sarus Crane.

Environmental management at Tram Chim was hampered by insufficient and irregular survey data, extreme weather conditions and expansive parklands. This presented serious challenges for rangers who need to make informed decisions, deploy management strategies and determine intervention results for the park’s ecosystem.

Funding from Aus4Innovation has brought together leading experts in environmental engineering and conservation biology from the University of Wollongong and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology to help transform environmental management of the park.

AI surveillance cameras employed for bird species identification and count.

Experts have used advanced technology, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Internet-connected devices (known as the Internet of Things, or IoT), to develop special tools for monitoring Tram Chim Park. These tools can scan large areas of the park, “speak” to each other and then successfully process large amounts of collected data.

This helps them to quickly figure out the current condition of the park’s environment and its overall health. Systems developed also allow timely access to important information on factors including water, soil, and air quality, the number of birds, and even early detection of fires.

The Park’s rangers and staff are now well trained to operate the system, including monitoring stations, aerial and aquatic drones.

About our Aus4Innovation program

Aus4Innovation aims to support and strengthen Vietnam’s innovation ecosystem and assist in the country’s ambition to become a high-income nation by 2045. The program is funded by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), co-funded and managed by CSIRO, and delivered in a strategic partnership with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

Learn more about Aus4Innovation’s achievements in AI and Machine Learning.

Australia's AI Month

From November 15 to December 15, Australia's AI Month spotlights our nation's AI proficiency. It aims to champion the responsible creation and adoption of AI to bolster our domestic AI sector and gain a competitive global edge.

CSIRO National AI Centre

Learn what Australia is doing to increase its AI expertise and capabilities for a strong, collaborative and focused AI ecosystem that benefits all Australians through the CSIRO National AI Centre.

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