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HCM City launches innovation contest

Update: December, 19/2018 - 09:00
Nguyễn Thành Phong (first row, left) and Nguyễn Thiện Nhân (right) at the launch ceremony for the HCM City Innovation Contest yesterday in HCM City. — VNA/ VNS Photo Trần Xuân Tình
Viet Nam News

HCM CITYHCM City authorities on Tuesday launched the HCM City Innovation Contest to select creative and innovative ideas to build a “smart and sustainable” city.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Nguyễn Thành Phong, chairman of HCM City People’s Committee, said the contest would promote the creativity and innovation of people from every walk of life in and outside of Việt Nam, and contribute to the city’s sustainable development.

“HCM City plays a major role in the country’s socio-economic development, contributing 23 per cent to national GDP, 30 per cent of State revenue, 16 per cent of industrial output, and 15 per cent of exports.”

Phong attributed the achievements to the role played by its residents.

Huỳnh Công Hùng, deputy director of the Department of Home Affairs, said the contest would honour innovative ideas, research, products and services in many fields. 

The fields include socio-economic, national security and defence, culture and art, administrative reforms, media, and start-ups, among others. 

“The contest emphasises applications in real life that bring real efficiency and value, contributing to solving urgent problems for the city,” he said.

The selection of awards will be done in a transparent manner and will consult the opinion of local residents.

A knowledge-based economy and use of cutting-edge technology is the new model for the city’s development, said Phong.

“A knowledge-based economy will allow the city to better integrate into the regional and global economy,” he noted. 

Phong said that other similar contests had been held, including the I-Star Award 2018 competition, HCM City Innovation and Startup Week, and Tôn Đức Thắng Award, among others. 

“The city has great potential for innovative research in a range of fields,” he said.

Smart-city project

Phong, chairman of the People’s Committee, said the city was implementing a project to become a smart urban area by 2020.

Under the plan, the city’s eastern area, including districts 2, 9 and Thủ Đức, will be developed into an innovative hub based on a digital-and knowledge-based economy. 

Nguyễn Thiện Nhân, secretary of the HCM City Party Committee, said the city had great potential for innovative urban development. 

“It’s important to improve the capacity to conduct research and use the city’s available resources for creative economic development,” he said. “It’s vital to strengthen connections between universities, research institutes and enterprises.” 

The eastern part of the city has great potential for education, science and technology application, with 16 universities and more than 500,000 students, an important factor for innovation, he noted. 

Huỳnh Thành Đạt, director of HCM City National University, said that “innovation districts” would include a high density of creative and startup activities.

“Experience from other countries shows innovation districts are associated with research universities, which supply entrepreneurs, subjects of innovation, and startup activities,” he said.

The contest begins from now until January 30, 2019. The results will be announced in April. 

The first prize is worth VNĐ100 million (US$4,300), second prize VNĐ80 million, and third prize VNĐ70 million.

The HCM City Innovation Contest is expected to be held biennially. — VNS  

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