Vietnam launches innovation network to tap diaspora expertise

By Staff reporters   August 19, 2018 | 05:45 pm PT
Vietnam launches innovation network to tap diaspora expertise
Vietnam's officials and scientists launch Vietnam Innovation Network in Hanoi on Sunday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngu Hiep
The Vietnam Innovation Network, launched Sunday by the Prime Minister, aims to connect Vietnamese scientists across the world.

"The new network will enable Vietnamese experts working in technologically advanced countries to assist their home country in preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution," Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the launch.

The network has been joined by over 100 Vietnamese scientists and tech experts living overseas as well as hundreds of their peers in Vietnam.

Pham Minh Chinh, head of the Central Organizing Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam and member of the Party Secretariat, expressed high regard for the network and its role in Vietnam's push for “comprehensive development.”

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam called for Vietnamese intellectuals overseas to express their love for their country through actions to help Vietnam develop and not miss opportunities brought forth by Industry 4.0.

Several Vietnamese scientists working overseas spoke at the launch and proposed ways for Vietnam to take advantage of advanced technologies, adopt new market approaches and attract venture capitalists from around the world.

Dr. Bui Hai Hung, a researcher at Google's AI company DeepMind in the U.S., said that while there were many top AI experts of Vietnamese origin working across the world, Vietnam has yet to put itself on the map in this area.

He urged Vietnam to establish an AI Center, develop IT infrastructure and invest in training programs for cloud computing.

Associate Professor Ho Anh Van, who works in Japan, also affirmed that there are many Vietnamese teaching or researching in top Japanese universities, as well as experts working for top tech firms in the country.

This network would enable all Vietnamese to work and cooperate to help transfer technology back to their home country, he added.

Ho Anh Van speaks at the launching conference of Vietnam Innovation Network. Photo by VnExpress/Ngu Hiep

Ho Anh Van speaks at the launching conference of Vietnam Innovation Network. Photo by VnExpress/Ngu Hiep

To prepare for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Prime Minister Phuc has approved a long-term strategy on scientific and technological development and innovation with vision, including Industry 4.0, until 2035, Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh said at the event.

Over the past two years, Vietnam's ranking in the Global Innovation Index has jumped 14 places to 45th among 126 countries and economies, with many businesses focusing on investing in research and development, he noted.

However, Anh stressed that to develop further, Vietnam needs the assistance of Vietnamese scientists and experts living overseas.

The new innovation network was an important step in connecting them with the country, he added.

The launch of the Vietnam Innovation Network was the first event in a five-day program that also includes talks between scientists and the government and relevant ministries as well as visits to hi-tech parks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

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