Science, technology projects awarded prestigious prizes

14:25 | 21/03/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The Ho Chi Minh Prize and State Prize on Science and Technology, the highest honors awarded in Vietnam for achievements in these fields, were awarded this year to 16 projects - ranging from a 90m jack-up drilling rig, an ionizing radiation technique to treat cancer and high-quality rice varieties.  

Winners of the Ho Chi Minh Prize for Science and Technology

The recipients of the Ho Chi Minh Prize for design and technological application to manufacture, assemble and launch of the 90m jack-up drilling rig suitable to Vietnam’s conditions, were Engineer Phan Tu Giang and 16 colleagues at the PetroVietnam Marine Shipyard (PV Shipyard).

The country’s first locally made off-shore jack-up drilling rig (Tam Dao 03) weighs 12,000 tonnes. With investment capital of US$180 million, Vietnam has become one of the few countries worldwide to build a jack-up drilling rig meeting international standards recognized by the American Bureau of Shipping.

Phan Tu Giang, the board chairman of PV Shipyard, said the shipyard was established in 2007 and the Tam Dao 03 project was implemented in 2009. Before 2009, all drilling rigs in Vietnam were built abroad and no domestic company conducted research, detailed design and technological application to manufacture and assemble jack-up drilling rigs. The company faced many difficulties in implementing the initiative due to lack of facilities, experienced staff - and confidence. The most difficult task was to convince the stakeholders - Vietnam National Oil & Gas Group, Bank for Investment & Development of Viet Nam, Viet Nam Machinery Erection Corporation and Shipbuilding Industry Corporation to approve implementation of the project.

Another among the nine projects awarded the prestigious Ho Chi Minh prize was research and application of modern techniques of ionizing radiation in diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other diseases, implemented by Professor Mai Trong Khoa and colleagues. The results have led to significant advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment in Vietnam, which until now had only been used in some developing countries. Moreover, the project has helped reduce treatment costs because it is much cheaper compared to cancer diagnosis and treatment in Singapore and other developing countries in the world.

For example, a positron emission tomography (PET/CT) scan at Bach Mai Hospital’s Nuclear Medicine and Oncology Center costs US$1,200, almost half the US$2,200 cost in Singapore.

Associate Professor Do Quoc Hung, the former head of the C7 Division of the Bach Mai Hospital’s National Cardiovascular Institute, said that he was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer in 2012. After a talk with Professor Mai Trong Khoa, he underwent ionizing radiation and six months later, the lung cancer tumors and all metastases in his body disappeared.

One of seven State Prizes on Science and Technology was awarded to a research project on collecting and developing the high-yield, high-quality OM6976 and OM5451 rice varieties for cultivation and exports, implemented by Associate Professor Tran Thi Cuc Hoa and colleagues. During the 2013-2015 period, the OM6976 and OM5451 rice varieties were planted in more than three million hectares in the Mekong Delta and some southeastern provinces. The OM6976 rice variety has high productivity with around nine tonnes per ha in the winter-spring season and about seven tonnes per ha in the summer-autumn crop. The OM5451 rice variety is of outstanding quality due to high micronutrient content. The large-scale cultivation of these two varieties has yielded revenues of several hundred billion dong for localities and markedly improved the living conditions of farmers.

Chu Ngoc Anh, the minister of Science and Technology, said at the awards ceremony on January 15 that the winning projects were chosen for their great and long-term impact on society and significant contribution to the development of the national economy. “The science and technology sector will make greater efforts to create the most favorable conditions in order to increase the effectiveness and impact of scientific and technological activities on the country’s socio-economic development,” Chu Ngoc Anh said.

State President Tran Dai Quang said the winning projects of the Ho Chi Minh Prize and State Prize on Science and

Technology have contributed to improving the quality of people’s lives, as well as enhancing the country’s competitiveness

and scientific and technological level.

Quynh Nga