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Vietnam, Italy Coordinate on Space Technology and Applications

The Italian Embassy in Hanoi and the Vietnam Space Centre (VNSC) at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) have launched the “Vietnam-Italy Space Technology and Applications. Looking Beyond” exhibition.

At the exhibition, participants saw 23 high-definition images of the Earth taken by the Italian satellite system COSMO-SkyMed, including two images of the city of Hanoi and the Mekong Delta. They also attended nine panels by VNSC illustrating applications of satellite images in remote sensing and disaster prevention in Vietnam.

During the opening ceremony, the Vice President of VAST, Le Truong Giang, said that last February, the government issued a strategy for the development and application of space science and technology until 2030. The aim was to utilise achievements in the fields to address defence and security issues, strengthen the management of the environment and natural resources, monitor natural disasters and minimise their impacts, and provide related services.

The government identified the promotion of international cooperation as an important role in the successful implementation of this strategy. Giang claimed that Italy is one of the few countries with a leading research force in various aspects of the space field, including developing satellites, launching Earth observation satellites, and locating and exploring life in space.

The exhibition aims to give scientists and researchers in Vietnam more opportunities to cooperate with Italian partners in the field of space science and technology. And chances to discover and apply the results of space technology to serve socio-economic goals and sustainable development.

The Italian Ambassador to Vietnam, Antonio Alessandro, mentioned that the exhibition takes place in view of celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Italy next year. As well as on the occasion of the Italian National Space Day, which is celebrated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in many countries around the world, including Vietnam. The purpose of Italy’s National Space Day is to raise awareness of the importance of space activities and space technology in many areas such as environment, meteorology, innovation, and defence-security.

Italy is among several countries that Vietnam has coordinated with on space technology. Last year, VNSC experts developed the NanoDragon satellite to demonstrate the use of micro-satellite beam technology to receive automatic identification system (AIS) signals of ships to track and monitor vehicles at sea. The microsatellite was transferred to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

This year, Vietnam and Japan explored potential plans and roadmaps to build national capacity in Earth observation using small satellite systems. Studies jointly conducted by the VNSC, the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) found that developing small satellites will work best for Vietnam.

As OpenGov Asia reported, Japanese experts believe that Vietnam is in an advantageous position to expand the use of new satellite technologies to ASEAN and Asia-Pacific. The combination of Vietnam’s ground infrastructure and satellites and Japan’s technologies and services is critical to opening more opportunities for the use of satellite data for both sides. Multi-layered capacity-building programmes, which encourage the participation of the private sector in aerospace, can also help Vietnam make big steps in automation and enable more sectors to reap benefits from satellite data.

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