Vietnam taps into World Bank-funded project to lure overseas experts

By Pham Huong   September 1, 2016 | 12:08 am PT
Vietnam taps into World Bank-funded project to lure overseas experts
Illustrative photo by VnExpress/Vu Le
The move is aimed at boosting Vietnam's research and development capacity.

Vietnam is using funds from a World Bank project to attract experts from other countries, particularly overseas Vietnamese, in a bid to boost its research and development capacity and bolster knowledge transfer.

Under the second phase of the Fostering Innovation through Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Project for Vietnam, which has been launched recently, applicants have been encouraged to submit before September 27 this year their proposals to bring experts to carry out cooperation projects in Vietnam. FIRST will allocate as much as $200,000 to finance successful proposals under this phase, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

In the first phase, the project granted $1 million for similar proposals.

The project is aimed at supporting science, technology and innovation in Vietnam, enhancing the effectiveness of project-aided research and development institutions, and encouraging the development of innovative technology enterprises.

Vietnam has compiled a list of thousands of Vietnamese scientists living abroad currently active in science, technology and economics, Vu Hong Nam, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese Affairs, said earlier this month.

Of the five million overseas Vietnamese, about 300,000 are directly involved in scientific and technological development, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Also under the second phase, FIRST will provide grants worth no more than $4 million for selected projects in market orientation and sustainable development to be implemented by public science and technology organizations. Applicants must submit their proposals before October 3 this year.

The project will also finance up to $3 million for business initiatives, which are the outcomes of cooperation among enterprises, institutes and universities. The deadline for those proposals is October 4, 2016.

The FIRST project, which runs from 2014 to 2019, has a total investment of $110 million, including $100 million financed by the World Bank with the rest contributed by Vietnam.

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