The events were selected from the following areas: policies and mechanisms, natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, applied research, international integration, and prominent scientists.
This is the 15th year of the vote for the top 10 S&T events, attracting the participation of more than 60 journalists who cover the S&T sector from 25 press agencies. The nomination was assessed by prestigious managers and scientists.
Below is a list of notable S&T events in 2020:
1. Prime Minister approves Programme on national digital transformation
The Prime Minister on June 3 issued Decision No.749/QD-TTg approving the National Digital Transformation Programme by 2025, with an orientation toward 2030.
The approved program has the dual goal of developing a digital government, economy and society while establishing Vietnamese digital technology enterprises that have the potential to go global.
The digital transformation in Vietnam has seen more strong developments than ever, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has had such a strong impact on the socio-economic situation, trade, education, culture, administration and transport.
2. Successful research on SARS-CoV-2 virus
* Successfully cultivating and isolating SARS-CoV-2 virus
The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology announced on February 2 that it had successfully cultivated and isolated the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the laboratory, enabling quicker tests for the virus.
With the achievement, Vietnam was then able to test thousands of samples a day when necessary. This also served as a basis for the development of a vaccine against the virus.
* Researching and manufacturing quick test kits for the SARS-CoV-2 virus
The Ministry of Science and Technology declared on March 5 the success of a research on a test kit for SARS-CoV-2 virus, making Vietnam among very few countries in the world to have succeeded in the research at that time.
The real-time RT-PCR research was conducted by the Vietnam Military Medical University and the Viet A Corporation as directed by the Ministry of Science and Technology.
The project’s success is important at a time when the COVID-19 epidemic remains a global threat. Results also confirmed Vietnamese scientists’ high levels of professional skill and the ministry’s determination to have effective epidemic prevention and control.
3. Successful development of technology for flight control and balloon retrieval in the stratosphere
This is project VT-CN.04/17-20 on ‘Research to Approach the Technology to Use Balloons in the Stratosphere, integrated with Information Transceivers, to Monitor, Give Direction, Rescue, and Calculate Physical Parameters in the Atmosphere’ was carried out under the National Science and Technology Program on Space Technology in the 2016-2020 period.
The project was directed by Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Hong Quang from the Center for Informatics and Computing.
The project uses an IoT network at an affordable cost level for deploying sea and forest rescue tasks, monitoring off-shore fishing boats, floods, landslides, and forest fire data.
4. Science ministry receives draft Vietnamese history
The Ministry of Science and Technology held a ceremony in Hanoi on November 12 to receive a draft of Vietnamese history after five years of its compilation.
The draft history comprises 25 volumes of general history and five volumes of event chronicles.
The project, funded by the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development, was carried out by nearly 300 scientists from research institutes and universities, mostly in Hanoi, Thua Thien-Hue and Ho Chi Minh City.
5. Viettel makes first 5G call with locally produced equipment
Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh (left) and Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hùng make a call on January 17 with a Viettel-made 5G device (Photo courtesy of Viettel)
The Military Telecommunications Industry Group (Viettel) successfully conducted the first call using fifth generation (5G) technology in Vietnam on January 17 with Viettel’s gNodeB transceiver.
The gNodeB transceiver, made by Viettel, includes both software and hardware. The device was developed in six months, starting in June 2019.
In May 2019, the carrier used a foreign-made device to make a call via the 5G network. After 8 months, Viettel has helped Vietnam master 5G technology.
6. Locally-developed tracing app Bluezone launched
Bluezone, a locally-developed app that helps determine if a person has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient, was launched in Hanoi on April 18 by the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Health.
Developed by tech firm Bkav, the app uses Bluetooth Low Energy, a wireless personal area network technology, to link smartphones within a two-meter distance.
As of mid-November 2020, more than 23 million Vietnamese people had downloaded the app.
7. Completion of Hoan Kiem Lake’s embankment using advanced technology
On August 20, 2020, the Vietnam Science and Technology Joint Stock Company (Busadco) announced the completion of the 1,500-meter embankment around Hoan Kiem lake in Hanoi. It took 65 days to complete the project, and it was completed 2 months ahead of schedule.
Remarkably, this construction project applies non-metallic reinforcement technology, previously applied in the project on building technical infrastructure systems in rural areas to prevent natural disasters and climate change, which won the Ho Chi Minh Science-Technology Awards in 2016.
8. Vietnamese scientists become affiliates in important physics research published in Nature
For the first time, Vietnamese physicists have become affiliates of a breakthrough research project published in Nature – a prestigious global scientific journal.
The international experiment, named T2K and described in the article ‘Constraint on the Matter–antimatter Symmetry-violating Phase in Neutrino Oscillations’, was published in Nature on April 16, 2020.
It was carried out in Japan with a collaboration between around 600 physicists and engineers across more than 60 organisations from 12 countries worldwide.
Vietnam is the second country in Asia besides Japan to have neutrino research appear in the Nature Journal. This Neutrino group is working at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Science and Education (IFIRSE) – a member of the International Center of Interdisciplinary Science Education (ICISE), located in Quy Nhon City, Binh Dinh Province.
9. Successful operation to separate conjoined twins
The twins, their parents and doctors pose for a photo on October 7, the day they are discharged from hospital (Photo: VNA)
Nearly 100 doctors and nurses from leading hospitals in Ho Chi Minh on July 15 successfully carried out an operation to separate twins born conjoined at the pelvis.
This success of the operation demonstrated the qualification of Vietnamese doctors and advanced development of the Vietnamese healthcare sector.
This is the second complicated operation to separate twins in Vietnam, following the first 32 years ago.
10. Assoc. Prof., Dr. Do Van Manh receives Asian Innovation Award 2020
The Hitachi Global Foundation on October 30 granted the 2020 Asian Innovation Award to Assoc. Prof., Dr. Do Van Manh from the Institute of Environmental Technology (under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology).
Dr. Manh is highly lauded for his research on the implementations of advanced biogas to exploit sludge from beer and sugar manufacturing plants to produce energy and organic fertiliser. The research contributes to environment protection and sustainable development in the Central Highlands and South Central regions.