Ann Mawe, Swedish Ambassador, speaks at the launch ceremony in Hà Nội.—VNS Photo Nguyễn Hằng
HÀ NỘI — Innovate like a Swede – an annual innovation contest for Vietnamese university students was launched in Hà Nội on Monday by the Embassy of Sweden.
The contest is designed to encourage creativity and find innovative solutions for challenges related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the Agenda 2030. Each year the contest focuses on a specific goal.
This year, it will be the goal No 9: building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Ann Mawe, Swedish Ambassador said innovation was a critical factor for Việt Nam to progress and achieve the SDGs.
She also said the Swedish society had a long tradition of fostering innovation. Their experience had proven that encouraging innovative ideas from an early age was crucial to the development of businesses and society in general.
“In order to boost innovation, we should inspire and encourage environments where young people are free and supported to take responsibility to come up with solutions to address development challenges of today and tomorrow”, she added.
“Young people are agents of change and innovation.”
The contest’s deadline for submission is November 6, 2019. The participants will form teams of two and their contribution will be assessed based on whether the entries are innovative, creative, feasible, sustainable and commercially viable, as well as on what kind of lasting impact they will have.
The jury consists of representatives from sponsoring Swedish companies, Uppsala University and the embassy.
The winning team will be offered a trip to Sweden and a visit to a number of Swedish companies’ headquarters as well as Uppsala University. Along with the runner-ups, they will also be awarded internship opportunities with sponsoring Swedish companies with business presence in Việt Nam.
Nguyễn Trọng Cường, 23, who won the 2018 contest with the idea to install styrofoam panels into the walls of his house to reduce the temperature and save electricity consumption, said the trip to Sweden was meaningful and brought valuable experiences.
“It’s not something big, they protect the environment by doing little things,” he said.
For example, they preferred driving battery-operated vehicles and they classified waste before disposing of it, he said.
“And the most important thing is that everyone takes it seriously,” he said.
Trần Thị Thu Vân, a representative of Hồ Chí Minh Communist Youth Union said she hoped the contest would provide a good chance for Vietnamese students nationwide to stimulate their creativity to contribute to the implementation of the nation’s SDGs. — VNS