Aus4Innovation powers digital transformation in Vietnam

06:00 | 22/10/2021 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Australian government has just announced aid worth almost AUD1.4 million (around US$1 million) for four digital transformation projects in Vietnam. This is the third funding round by the Aus4Innovation program, a partnership between Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and Australia to strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future.

High-tech application promotion

Selected from among nearly 70 applicants who responded to the call for proposals from Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants Round 3 – “Enhancing Digital Transformation”, the four projects will be implemented through well-established partnerships between leading universities in both Australia and Vietnam, together with industry partners and local government agencies. They are expected to deliver practical values to the innovation ecosystem and create lasting socioeconomic impact in Vietnam.

aus4innovation powers digital transformation in vietnam

Aus4Innovation has had a positive impact on Vietnam's socioeconomic development

An augmented reality project is designed to improve access to healthcare in remote areas – an initiative to employ augmented reality technology to improve the effectiveness of remote tele-mentorship between experts in urban centers and less-experienced healthcare staff in remote areas. Ultimately supporting better outcomes for urgent and complex patient cases, the project will be delivered through a partnership between the University of Tasmania and Bach Mai Hospital (AUD387,245 or US$285,435).

The Smart Eye project is designed to improve sugar industry productivity – a project to develop a system incorporating drone technology and artificial intelligence to allow local farmers in Thanh Hoa Province to monitor nutrition levels and disease prevalence in sugarcane fields, thereby improving productivity and reducing production costs. The grant will be delivered through the University of Wollongong and VIGREEN, a tech startup (AUD300,000 or US$221,180).

The AI/IoT (artificial intelligence/Internet of Things) Technology project aims to enhance search and rescue operations in Vietnam during natural disasters by using the latest digital transformation technologies, including aerial vehicles (UAVs), AI, and remote sensing technology. The initiative will be delivered collaboratively by the University of Technology Sydney and Le Quy Don Technical University (AUD440,000 or US$324,460).

An AI-powered dashboard for environment ecosystem management is an initiative that brings together leading experts in AI, machine learning, IoT, environmental engineering, and conservation biology to transform the environmental management of Tram Chim National Park. Work will be led by the University of Wollongong and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology (AUD250,000 or US$184,420).

Lasting positive impact

Robyn Mudie, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam said, “Building on the success of previous Aus4Innovation Partnership Grants, we are delighted to continue supporting initiatives that address Vietnam’s most pressing socioeconomic growth challenges. International collaboration in emerging areas of science and technology, like AI and IoT, will be especially important as the country recovers from Covid-19. The healthcare, natural disaster management, sustainable agriculture, and nature conservation sectors all provide opportunities for widespread digital transformation that will have a lasting positive impact.”

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Bui The Duy said, “This pandemic is reminding us that digital transformation is essential for future social and economic development. The projects selected for funding are not only practical in how advanced technologies are applied in areas of critical need in Vietnam, they are also very meaningful in today’s context. We look forward to embracing these state-of-the-art technologies into our innovation system, and the positive spill-over that they will facilitate here in Vietnam.”

The Aus4Innovation program is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and managed by Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in strategic collaboration with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology. The program implemented its two first funding rounds in 2019 and 2020 for eight selected high-tech projects. The third round is implemented in the context of the increasingly complex Covid-19 pandemic to support Vietnam's early sustainable recovery.

The 2018-2022 Aus4Innovation program has been allocated a total budget of AUD13.5 million to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future.

Quynh Nga