Top ten scientific and technological events in 2016

The Science and Technology Journalist Club under Vietnam Journalists’ Association, in coordination with Centre for Science and Technology Communications under the Ministry of Science and Technology, has published a list of top ten prominent events in the science and technology sector in 2016.

Scientists who are winners of the first Tran Dai Nghia Award 2016. (Credit: NDO/Thu Ha)
Scientists who are winners of the first Tran Dai Nghia Award 2016. (Credit: NDO/Thu Ha)

Issuing two resolutions related to scientific and technology activities

The 12th Party Central Committee’s fourth session issued Resolution No. 05-NQ/TW on a number of guidelines and policies to promote growth model innovation and improve growth quality, labour productivity and economic competitiveness. Section 2.3 of Chapter III under the Resolution states that: giving priorities to the development and transfer of science and technology, especially modern science and technology, considering this a key factor to improve productivity, quality and the economy’s competitiveness.

On November 2, 2016, the National Assembly Standing Committee issued Resolution No. 297/NQ-UBTVQH14 on improving the efficiency of implementing policies and laws on science and technology development to promote industrialisation and modernisation during 2015-2020, with a focus on supporting industry and mechanical engineering.

Approving the "Supporting national innovative startup ecosystem by 2025" scheme

On May 18, 2016, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 844/QĐ-TTg approving the "Supporting national innovative startup ecosystem by 2025" scheme. The project aims to create a favourable environment to promote and support formation and development of businesses capable of rapid growth, based on exploitation of intellectual property, technologies and new business models; expeditiously improve the legal system in support of innovative startups; set up the national startup portal; and provide support to 800 startup projects and 200 startup businesses, of which 50 will successfully mobilise capital from venture investors, implementing mergers and acquisitions with a total value estimated at VND1 trillion (US$44 million).

Successfully organising the 5th international conference on Vietnamese studies

The fifth international conference on Vietnamese studies was held in Hanoi from December 15-16 with the theme of “Sustainable development in the context of global change." The event was organised by Vietnam National University, Hanoi, in collaboration with relevant ministries, agencies and major domestic research centres. The conference focused on six areas of foreign affairs, international cooperation and integration, cultural resources, education and development of human resources, knowledge and technology transfer, economy and livelihood and climate change.

A new point at this conference was that it mentioned a broader scope of Vietnamese studies, paying attention to the issues of education and training, technology transfer and climate change.

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The fifth international seminar on Vietnamese studies takes place in Hanoi on December 15-16. (Credit: VGP)

Tran Dai Nghia Awards presented for the first time

The Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology held a ceremony in Hanoi on September 11, 2016 to award the first Tran Dai Nghia Awards, honouring scientists and authors of outstanding scientific works with significant contributions to national socioeconomic development, security and defence. To be held annually from this year, the awards, named after professor and academician Tran Dai Nghia (1913-1997), an eminent scientist who devoted his life to science in Vietnam, particularly in the field of military science, also arouse scientific spirit among young scientists to encourage them on the path of scientific research.

Detecting a relic dating back to the Palaeolithic Age in An Khe, Gia Lai Province

The discovery of a system of Palaeolithic relics in the town of An Khe, in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai, by archaeologists from the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences provides evidence that the An Khe area in the Ba River’s upstream basin was a residential locale of upright apes at the dawn of human history.

This is the earliest traces of human beings, not only in Vietnam but also in the Southeast Asian region. It is also valuable material for the study and compilation of national history in ancient times.

State-level science and technology target programmes during 2011-2015 have contributed positively to country's socioeconomic development.

The system of 15 State-level science and technology key programmes deployed from 2011 to 2015 includes ten programmes in the fields of science and technology (KC programmes) and five in the field of social sciences and humanities (KX programmes).

The KC programmes have contributed significantly to enhancing the competitiveness of goods and agroforestry products through increased labour productivity and product quality.

KX programmes have clarified several scientific arguments with persuasiveness in political system reformation, democratic practices, consolidating the ruling Party, supplementing policies and guidelines on social security and employment issues, and building a rule of law socialist State model.

Vietnam successfully producing vaccines against measles and rubella

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POLYVAC staff work on producing a measles-rubella vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Japan International Cooperation Agency)

In November 2016, the Ministry of Health announced the results of clinical trials for coordinated vaccine against measles and rubella (MR) produced by the Hanoi-based Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (POLYVAC). This was the first MR vaccine to be successfully produced in Vietnam, making the country one among 25 capable of manufacturing vaccines in the world and the fourth country in Asia to produce MR vaccine, after Japan, India and China.

Technological roadmap and innovation applied to rice cultivation sector and rice production in Vietnam.

The National Technological Innovation Programme by 2020 has actively selected and assigned relevant units to conduct a series of related tasks on building a roadmap for technological innovation in a number of critical sectors, including rice research and production, helping domesticate local rice varieties with salt tolerance and adapting to rice cultivation conditions of salinity in the Mekong Delta.

Building a technological roadmap is a consistent approach in comprehensively and objectively evaluating the status quo and technological capacity of every sector.

Successfully producing cold plasma machine

After four years of research and testing, Dr. Do Hoang Tung and his colleagues have successfully patented a cold plasma generator - namely PlasmaMed - using gliding arc plasma (GAP) technology. After being trialled at several major hospitals, PlasmaMed has been certified by the Ministry of Health as medical equipment and put into circulation. The Ministry of Science and Technology patented this technology for Dr. Tung and his colleagues. Currently, there are about 11 PlasmaMed machines placed at major hospitals, such as the Central Obstetrics Hospital, the National Burns Hospital and the Central Children's Hospital.

Five Vietnamese among most influential scientists in the world

As announced by Thomson Reuters, in 2016 Vietnam has five scientists in the list of 3,000 world's most influential scientists.

Among them, only Dr. Nguyen Xuan Hung (computer science) has contacts in Vietnam. He along with Prof., Dr. Nguyen Son Binh are the two who are Vietnamese scientist be in the list for three consecutive years. The others join the above list are Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thuc Quyen, Prof., Dr. Vo Van Anh and Dr. Tran Phan Lam Son.

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Dr. Tran Phan Lam Son in an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK.