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Nurturing Vietnam’s Digital Workforce for the Future

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The National Innovation Centre (NIC), under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, recently conducted a review event on January 23 to assess the outcomes of its collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Workforce for an Innovation and Start-up Ecosystem (WISE) programme.

Image credits: Vietnam Plus

Under the WISE programme, the NIC aimed to enhance Vietnam’s human resources for the Fourth Industrial Revolution by focusing on basic digital skills, fostering digital skills training markets, and introducing innovative financial solutions for education.

The Vietnam National Innovation Centre operates under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, serving the purpose of fostering the country’s startup and innovation ecosystem and contributing to the transformation of the growth model through science and technology.

Designed with an advanced and context-specific model, the centre implements specialised, superior, and competitive mechanisms and policies, surpassing regional and global standards. Funding comes from domestic and international enterprises through various forms of investment and socialisation, excluding state budget allocations.

NIC Director Vu Quoc Huy highlighted the success of the initiative, emphasising its positive impact on high-quality human resource development in critical areas like AI, cloud computing, product development, and smart factories. The program achieved its goals through collaborative efforts with public and private partners, conducting training sessions, conferences, and seminars.

The activities not only reached a wide audience but also positively influenced beneficiaries in rural areas and vulnerable groups, such as labourers. The project significantly expanded connections with various partners, including innovation and startup centres, universities, and colleges, creating a robust intellectual resource network.

The head of USAID Vietnam’s office for state governance and economic growth emphasised the importance of integration in USAID’s work. Through the WISE partnership with NIC, USAID successfully contributed to expanding access to innovation and digital skills training, bridging gender and urban-rural gaps, and strengthening Vietnam’s digital workforce.

He noted that the achievements of the WISE programme lay a solid foundation for ongoing progress and innovation. USAID’s initiatives and partnerships will continue to thrive, fostering a sustainable ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in Vietnam.

In the current landscape, the emphasis on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within the framework of university and college education in Vietnam has gained significance. This is evident through ongoing initiatives aimed at establishing and nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in educational institutions.

However, variations in success levels persist among schools, with some having well-established ecosystems while others are still navigating the process of adopting suitable methods, implementing models, and enhancing their capabilities.

To contribute to advancing this innovation journey, the NIC has collaborated with USAID and the Network of Startup and Innovation Centres at Universities and Colleges (VNEI Network).

In partnership, the NIC launched a “journey to connect and enhance innovation capacity and provide startup support for universities and colleges”. This programme serves as a technical support initiative under the broader framework of “human resources for innovation – Startup ecosystem”, aligning with the goals of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the educational sector.

The initiative is designed as an Innovation Journey, aiming to equip participants with insights into policies, operational models, and methodologies for establishing, operating, and advancing innovation centres and fostering creativity at universities and colleges.

This initiative places a special emphasis on aiding participants in enhancing their professional knowledge and skills to effectively implement innovation activities and programs within their units. Additionally, it focuses on fostering the creation and strengthening of networks within the national innovation ecosystem.

The itinerary comprised visits, hands-on experiences, and discussions at Innovation Centers in four locations per city, emphasising their pivotal role and concluding with presentations on establishing Innovation and Skills Centers or enhancing innovation initiatives at academic institutions.

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