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Vietnamese digital inventors get competitive grants from Australia

Image credit: Nhan Dan

The Australian government has launched Round 3 of the Innovation Partnership Grants programme, which offers funding of AUD1.5 million (about US$1.1 million) for Australian and Vietnamese partners’ innovation initiatives that have already been piloted and are now ready to be replicated.

Innovation Partnership Grants provide funding to scale already tested activities to address emerging challenges or opportunities in any sector of Vietnam’s innovation ecosystem and strengthen Vietnam-Australia partnerships.

Under the theme “Enhancing Digital Transformation”, this round of grant will seek initiatives that have the potential to enhance digital transformation in the economy and deliver inclusive social impacts. These initiatives should be able to develop innovative products, services, or business models and solutions that build on emerging digital technologies to help improve the efficiency, agility, and productivity in a specific sector or across the economy.

While there are no restrictions in sectors, applicants are encouraged to focus their ideas on smart manufacturing, smart agriculture, digital health, smart education, smart cities, finance and banking, natural resources and environment, and e-government.

According to a media report, individual grants will be between AU$ 100,000 (US$ 77,587) and AU$ 1 million (US$ 775,870), aiming to help Vietnamese inventors come up with initiatives to address challenges and capitalise on opportunities in the context of the global pandemic and the new normal. It is expected that the funded activities will be completed within 12 months from the time of signing the grant agreement. The deadline for applications is 4 April.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Bui The Duy, affirmed that the Innovation Partnership Grants – Round 3 is suitable in the current context, referring to the national digital transformation programme. It is expected to transform Vietnam into a digital country, where government management, business operations, and people’s lives are enabled with a secured digital environment.

Also, under the programme, the development of the e-government will be completed this year. It would focus on completing the legal framework for digital transformation and developing digital infrastructure, platforms, and databases. It will also ensure national network security.

The Innovation Partnership Grants are within the AU$ 11 million (US$ 8.5 million) Aus4Innovation programme being carried out over four years (2018-2022), aiming to help strengthen Vietnam’s innovation system and prepare for the country’s economic and digital future. The programme is funded by the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and managed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam as a key partner.

Last year, under the Aus4Innovation, the Australian government announced its financial support of AU$ 650,000 (US$ 504,351) to a new initiative that enables the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to assist economic recovery in Vietnam after the COVID-19 pandemic.

As OpenGov Asia had reported, the support offered short-term funding for innovative AI solutions to deal with the consequences of the disease, and support longer-term demands, including technical support for the implementation of Vietnam’s AI strategy and training courses for stakeholders in the AI ecosystem. The initiative will be implemented till June this year.

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