The events were selected in the following areas: policies and mechanisms, social sciences, natural sciences, applied research, international integration and honouring prominent scientists.
The following are 10 of the most notable scientific and technological events to happen in Vietnam in 2019.
The area of policies and mechanisms
Resolution No. 52-NQ/TW on actively participating in the Fourth Industrial Revolution issued
On September 27, 2019, General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong signed and issued Resolution No. 52-NQ / TW regarding a number of guidelines and policies to actively participate in the fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0). Resolution No. 52 stated that the Industry 4.0 opens up many opportunities, and also posed challenges for each nation, organisation and individuals; it has been increasingly strongly affecting all sectors of the national socio-economic outlook. The guiding viewpoint of the Politburo is to be proactive and actively participate in Industry 4.0 as an indispensable requirement; that is a particularly important strategic task, an urgent and long-term task of both the political system and the entirety of society, closely linked to the process of extensive international integration. At the same time, fully and properly be aware of the content and nature of Industry 4.0 to resolve to innovate thinking and action, considering it a breakthrough solution with appropriate steps and roadmaps, aiming to make full use of opportunities brought about by Industry 4.0.
The area of social sciences
National conference spotlights northern border defence war
The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) and the Vietnam Association of Historical Science (VAHS) jointly held a national conference in Hanoi on February 15, 2019 to discuss the northern border defence war (1979-2019).
The conference featured the participation of scientists and lecturers from prestigious research institutes and universities throughout the country, and veterans who fought for the safeguarding of the nation’s border land 40 years ago.
The conference is a chance to honour soldiers and those who fought and sacrificed for the safeguarding of the nation’s border land, while popularising patriotic traditions and promoting gratitude towards older generations. Sixty reports submitted to the conference affirmed the historical truth and the justice of Vietnam during the northern border defence war. Many reports provided theoretical and practical foundations, as well as lessons learnt from the war, contributing to educating on the unity and determination necessary to build a strong country, especially amidst the complicated regional and global situation at present with unexpected changes.
The area of natural sciences
Vietnam’s Micro Dragon satellite launched into orbit
On January 18, 2019, the ‘MicroDragon satellite’, designed and manufactured by Vietnam, was launched into orbit in Japan. The launch of MicroDragon, manufactured by Vietnam under Japanese guidance and assistance, demonstrating a key step in realising Vietnam’s dream of mastering satellite technology and conquering space.
Vietnamese experts participated directly in the process from research and design tomanufacturing, assembly and testing of the MicroDragon. The main purpose of the entire manufacturing process taking place in Japan was for training. So it is safe to say that this is a satellite manufactured by Vietnamese people. It is tasked with observing coastal areas to assess water quality, locate fishery resources and monitor changes in coastal waters to serve Việt Nam’s aquaculture industry.
The successful launch of the MicroDragon satellite has shown that our team of experts has gradually mastered the technology at all stages, from satellite requirements analysis, collecting the requirements of related industries, to requirements on design, component and assembly, integrated to complete satellite functions, ground system manufacturing. With MicroDragon, Vietnam can improve its capacity in natural disaster prevention and climate change mitigation.
The area of applied research
National E-Document Exchange Platform and National public service portal launched
A ceremony took place in Hanoi on March 12 to launch the National E-Document Exchange Platform. The event was attended by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, together with many ministries, sectors and central agencies. The launching of the National E-Document Exchange Platform exemplifies the determination of the Government and the Prime Minister during recent, in order to build up e-government systems, realising the Prime Minister’s instructions on building e-government.
The National E-Document Exchange Platform is the first basic step for the digital transformation process of the Government. The platform contributes to reducing time and costs for sending and receiving documents among State administrative bodies while improving the bodies’ effectiveness and quality. The National E-Document Exchange Platform has been invested in by VNPT Group with advanced technology and leased by the Government Office.
The national public service portal can be found at the web address https//dichvucong.gov.vn, which is an electronic platform to connect the Government with people and enterprises, officially opened on December 9, 2019. The portal consists of six components namely the national database on administrative procedures and the frequently asked questions and answers related to the procedures, on-time login and verification system to connect with ministerial and provincial-level public service portals, an e-payment system, an opinion section for citizens and enterprises, integrated public services of ministries, agencies and localities, and online supporting services. The portal provides online public services in all 63 provinces and cities including the issuance of driving licences, announcements of promotion activities, reissuance of health insurance cards, provision of electricity services to citizens/enterprises, payment of electricity bills, the issuance international driving licenses, registration for promotion activities, grant of certificates of origin of goods, and e-tax payment for businesses.
The national public service portal has been directed by the Government since 2019, built by VNPT Group.
ST25 – “the best rice in the world”
ST25 rice has just been recognised as the “World’s Best Rice 2019” at the 11th Rice Trader World Rice Conference, held from November 10-13 in Manila, the Philippines. ST25 rice was produced and developed by a team of scientists in Soc Trang province, including Engineer Ho Quang Cua, Dr. Tran Tan Phuong and Engineer Nguyen Thi Thu Huong.
ST25 rice belongs to the ST aromatic rice line with many different rice varieties, constantly being researched over 20 years. With long grains of pure white coloured rice, a beautiful rice surface, and an especially fragrant scent, thanks to a hybrid of pineapple aroma of the south and nuggets of the northe, ST 25 rice has surpassed rice from countries like Thailand and Cambodia to receive the first prize of the World’s Best Rice 2019 contest for the first time after participating in the contest 10 times in the past 10 years. This is a high-yield rice variety that can provide 2-3 crops per year. Currently the application file for recognition of ST25 as a new rice variety has been sent to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Scientists – the creator of ST25 hope that after being recognized by the Ministry as a new variety, besides expanding the area, building specialized cultivation areas, the localities and farmers should properly cultivate the technical process to keep the quality of this precious rice in order to produce good rice at a high price.
Viettel makes first 5G call in Vietnam
Military-run telecom giant Viettel on May 10, 2019 successfully conducted the first call in Vietnam to use fifth generation (5G) with Ericsson’s mobile phone device. The call was part of Viettel’s 5G technical testing programme to evaluate the application of the technology in Vietnam.
Viettel aims to be a pioneer in developing and deploying the latest technologies, including 5G technology synchronized with the world’s leading carriers to serve Vietnam’s digital transformation strategy, ready for the Industry 4.0. Viettel’s 5G research and development engineers are also in the process of researching, mastering technology, creating and developing products of Viettel’s 5G base station. The fifth generation mobile network technology (5G) is the backbone of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
This event marked Vietnam as one of the earliest countries to successfully test a 5G network. The 5G technology deployed by Viettel is in line with the standardization road-map of the 3GPP organisation.
This is the first time Vietnam can go along with the world in deploying the latest technology, affirming the maturity of Viettel’s technical force.
DNA identification centre for martyrs opens
A centre for DNA Identification for Revolutionary Martyrs under the Institute of Biotechnology debuted on July 25, 2019, as part of activities to mark the 72nd anniversary of the War Invalids and Martyrs’ Day (July 27). The centre contributes to help ease families’ difficulties in finding the remains of war martyrs.
Currently, the centre is working closely with large organizations in the US such as USAID project, which has provided support and improved the technical capacity to use DNA information, aiming to analyze and identify the remains of Vietnamese war martyrs.
Foreign organizations such as the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), the US’s Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) and the Germany’s QIAGEN Group supported the centre to modernize inspection technology with difficult samples in Vietnam. From August 2019 to now, the centre has identified more than 200 remains of martyrs per month, the rate of successful sampled inspections increased to partly meet the people’s and Government’s expectations.
Made-in-Vietnam seasonal influenza vaccines available from January, 2019
The IVACFLU-S vaccines, which have been produced in Vietnam to protect against seasonal flu such as A/H1N1/09, A/H3N2, and B, are now available on the market from January, 2019, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals under the Ministry of Health announced at a press conference on January 15, 2019. From 2003 when avian influenza A / H5N1 appeared and showed signs of spreading throughout Vietnam, with a potential risk of an epidemic, the Ministry of Health directed domestic vaccine production units, including IVAC, to focus resources on research and development of vaccines against influenza. In May, 2018, the vaccines have been shown as safe measure to improve the immune systems of people aged between 18 and 60. The IVACFLU-S vaccines are contraindicated for people with a history of hypersensitivity to the ingredients in the vaccine or allergic to proteins in chicken eggs and chicken. The Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals is capable of manufacturing 1.5 million doses of vaccines per year.
The area of honouring scientists
Professor Pham Hoang Hiep honoured with Ramanujan Prize
Vietnamese Professor, Dr. Pham Hoang Hiep was awarded with the 2019 Ramanujan Prize for Young Mathematicians from Developing Countries by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), in October, 2019. Named after famous Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), since 2005 the prize has been awarded annually to mathematicians under 45 who have conducted outstanding research in developing countries. The prize is administered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India in collaboration with ICTP and the International Mathematical Union (IMU).
The prize was awarded in recognition of Professor, Dr. Pham Hoang Hiep’s outstanding contributions to the field of complex analysis, and in particular to pluripotential theory, where he obtained an important result on the singularities of plurisubharmonic functions, as well as solving complex Monge-Ampère equations and log canonical thresholds, which have important applications in algebraic and complex Kahler geometry. It is also in recognition of Dr. Hiep’s important organisational role in the advancement of mathematics in Vietnam. He has been teaching and researching mathematics at the Institute of Mathematics (under the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) and the Hanoi National University of Education for about 15 years. In 2017, Hiep was the youngest Vietnamese scientist to be ordained with the title of Professor. He has published 40 articles in international math journals and is also the first Vietnam-based mathematician to have an article published in Acta Mathematica, one of the most prestigious mathematics research journals from around the world.
The area of international integration
First Techfest Vietnam introduced abroad
The national start-up and innovation festival, known as Techfest 2019, took place on December 4 to 6 in Ha Long, the capital city of Quang Ninh province. The event provided updates on start-up and innovation trends and link investors with start-up businesses. Techfest Vietnam 2019 was the largest annual event dedicated to the start-up and innovation community in Vietnam as part of a programme to support the national start-up and innovation ecosystem until 2025. The festival saw the participation of at least 250 potential start-up businesses, nearly 200 domestic and foreign investors, and 150 large enterprises and start-up support organisations.
Earlier, the International Techfest Vietnam was organised in the US (from November 7 to 14), the Republic of Korea (from November 3 to 9), and Singapore (November 7 to 14), aiming to promote Vietnam’s national start-up and innovation ecosystem to the world. During the event, seminars were organised with practical contents, sharing and discussion of managers, investors and businesses, who successfully run start-ups, overseas Vietnamese, experts and international organisations, with the aim to connect investment for Vietnamese startups in many countries.