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Mar 18, 2024 / 20:28

Vietnam Innovation Challenge 2024: Sparking innovation for semiconductor and AI industries

This initiative will help businesses achieve new levels of success and contribute to the sustainable development of the country.

The Vietnam Innovation Challenge 2024 was kicked off today [March 18] with the theme "Innovation to accelerate the semiconductor industry and artificial intelligence to go global", calling for participation from individuals and organizations at home and abroad.

Vietnam Innovation Challenge 2024 Launch Ceremony. Photo: Phi Nhat

Selected individuals or organizations with outstanding solutions will have the opportunity to showcase their solutions, explore collaboration opportunities with major companies in the fields, secure investment commitments from domestic and  international corporations and venture capitalists, network, and join the National Innovation Center (NIC) and Meta Corporation ecosystem. They will also receive support to enhance their capabilities and facilitate trade.

Speaking at a press conference, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Tran Duy Dong, said that Vietnam is emerging as a promising player in the semiconductor industry with several advantages such as strategic location, increasingly developed digital infrastructure, tech-savvy population, and abundant young and creative workforce.

He added that the semiconductor industry in Vietnam has significant growth potential in the coming years. According to the forecast of the Southeast Asia Semiconductor Industry Association (SEMI SEA), the Vietnamese semiconductor market is expected to grow by over 6% in the period 2022-2027.

Assessing Vietnam's potential in the artificial intelligence (AI) industry, Rafael Frankel, director of Meta's public policy for South and Southeast Asia, affirmed that Vietnam will become a dragon in Al, driving the development of AI in Southeast Asia.

He praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the Vietnamese people and emphasized the government's openness to global economic cooperation beyond the technology sector.

However, he said that Vietnam needs to maintain its existing advantages and open-mindedness, and seize the significant opportunities that are emerging. “The country should become a preferred destination for global technology companies to do business,” he said.

According to National Innovation Center (NIC), the Vietnam Innovation Award Ceremony 2024 will take place in October. The program aims to create an intellectual playground, bring  together resources for collaboration, generate breakthrough ideas, tap the potential, and seize the opportunities of the semiconductor and artificial intelligence (Al) industries. 

By seeking and rewarding solutions, the program will contribute to the overall goal of raising awareness of the importance and value of the semiconductor and artificial intelligence industries; recommending and connecting Vietnamese enterprises with solutions that will modernize and improve business operations; increasing efficiency; and developing new products and services to enhance the competitive advantage of Vietnamese enterprises in the global market.

Launched in October 2022, the Vietnam Innovation Challenge program is organized by NIC under the Ministry of Planning and Investment and Meta Corporation. The program seeks innovative solutions from domestic and international organizations and individuals to address key national challenges, working towards Vietnam's prosperous and sustainable development.

In its first edition in 2022-2023, the program attracted 758 applications for digital transformation solutions from various countries and territories with vibrant innovative ecosystems such as the US, South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong (China); 4,500,000 accesses and interactions, 50 accompanying experts; and 40 domestic and international partners. 

Vu Quoc Huy, Director of the National Innovation Center, told The Hanoi Times about this year's program during the press conference.
 Vu Quoc Huy, Director of the National Innovation Center. Photo: The Dai

What's important about this year's Vietnam Innovation Challenge?

The semiconductor and AI industries are crucial not only for Vietnam, but also for many countries around the world. The Vietnamese government is closely monitoring these two sectors and has tasked the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), the Ministry of Information and Communications, and relevant agencies to develop policies for these two sectors.

Semiconductor is a core industry that drives various industrial and defense sectors. In the near future, this industry will be further developed in other industries such as automotive, AI, machine learning, big data, and cloud computing, and Vietnam will not be excluded from this trend.

Globally, there are issues related to supply chain disruptions and a shortage of high-quality labor. In this context, there is a trend for economies to shift their production bases and diversify their supply chains, which provides investment opportunities for Vietnam and promotes the development of these sectors in Vietnam.

We have been commissioned by the government to build the human resources development plan for Vietnam's semiconductor industry by 2030, with a vision to 2045. We are gathering opinions to submit this plan to the Prime Minister soon, with the goal of developing 50,000 engineers in the semiconductor industry by 2030 to supply the Vietnamese and global markets.

The semiconductor industry and talent development in the sector will be among the key goals of Vietnam in the coming years.

In addition, AI technology was chosen as a theme to promote new technological solutions, adapt to new trends, and enable Vietnamese enterprises to join global value chain in this area.

This is what this program aims to achieve.

How will the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and other related agencies support this year's program winners?

For the selected solutions, the MPI and relevant agencies will have support policies to develop these solutions through MPI projects, facilitate market access through media events and networking, provide technical expertise from semiconductor and AI experts, and organize training programs to enhance the capacity of experts in the semiconductor and AI industries.

The MPI will also create an innovative ecosystem to support businesses participating in this program.

How does this year's program differ from last year's?

In 2023, the program was themed to support enterprises in digital transformation.

This year's program is more focused on new breakthroughs for the future development of Vietnam, with the aim of keeping up with the market demand trends, as these two sectors play a crucial role in the socio-economic development.

Our aim is to increase the scale and scope of the event and to attract more participants, including large companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, research institutions, universities, investment funds and innovation ecosystem players.

These are the two new aspects of this year's program.

The program is designed for three groups of innovative companies: large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and innovative start-ups. The total value of the program is up to $300,000.

How are the winning 2023 Program companies doing after one year?

Most of the companies awarded in the 2023 program have significant scale and are actively running their businesses, providing valuable solutions to many partners. To date, these companies have not encountered any significant challenges or obstacles.

They have also been invited to be part of our related activities and have had our media support.

Thank you!