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Vietnam launches hackathon for COVID-19 solutions

Image credit: Nhan Dan

A hackathon was launched by the Hanoi Youth Union, the UNDP in Vietnam and AngelHack Vietnam to look for innovative ideas in education, healthcare, information and economics to combat the coronavirus epidemic.

According to news reports, the programming contest, known as “Hack Covy” attracted over 500 young Vietnamese programmers, innovators, and designers across about 100 projects.

The organisers last month, together with the participation of many experts, established online channels offering contestants opportunities to take part in discussions, team building, and use advanced technology throughout the competition.

Contestants sent their finished projects, along with a 2-minute video giving an overview of their ideas, to the organisers.

Across three days, participants had presented their projects online before a jury panel, which then announced the three best projects a few days later.

The three winning projects received development support for two months before being released to the market.

Another competition was launched to look for innovative ideas aimed at dealing with the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam.

The contest, “#Hack4growth – Covid Endgame” has been organised by the Association of Vietnamese Scientists and Experts (AVSE) under the auspices of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.

Ideas submitted should cover various fields including the economy, society, environment, tourism, agriculture, industrial production, healthcare, education and climate change.

They are expected to play a part in the economic recovery effort, addressing the global health crisis and creating innovative models for sustainable economic development, a media report noted.

The contest is open to enterprises and groups which have been active for less than five years as well as individuals of over 18 years old, from both at home and abroad.

The winner is expected to receive a prize of US $10,000 while participants will have the opportunity to receive investment and product development support. The submission deadline is 15 June.

With the new work-from-home regime, demand for better online services has been rising. Fortunately, Vietnam’s Internet speeds are able to meet these demands.

Broadband internet download speeds in Vietnam average out at 61.69 Mbps, according to results from 30,000 users as announced by the Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre (VNNIC).


The agency said that this speed is 45% higher than that reported by foreign companies.

For mobile networks, the average download speed is 39.44 Mbps, meaning Vietnam’s internet quality meets the appropriate standards, especially while demand is exceptionally high during the social distancing designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Data shows that VNPT offered the fastest fibre-to-the-home download and upload speeds, followed by Viettel.

But the military-run provider recorded the highest mobile internet speeds at 41.45 Mbps for upload and 32.70 Mbps for download. Second and third positions belong to Vinaphone and Mobifone respectively.

According to VNNIC, mobile internet speeds in Vietnam are 1.5 times slower than broadband internet speeds.

The country has also created a website to share software and solutions in support of Vietnamese businesses. The project is designed to help businesses keep their staff connected while working from home to protect themselves and their community from the spread of COVID-19.

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