United States Supports Innovation in Vietnam through Maker Movement Promotion Forums

Ambassador Osius and Vice Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung test out an electricity and music experiment by a participant in Hanoi.

CAN THO, November 3, 2016 – Today, Arizona State University concluded the second of two 2016 Maker Movement Promotion Forums in Can Tho. U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius and Vice Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung launched the first 2016 Maker Movement Promotion Forum in Hanoi on November 1, and U.S. Consulate General Deputy Principal Officer Tim Liston addressed participants at today’s event in Can Tho. These Maker Movement Promotion Forums are one-day, interactive forums and exhibitions that support the developing innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Vietnam.

“Entrepreneurship is about people, and the networks they create to support their ideas and move forward. The more people I meet, the more I am convinced that innovation is vital to Vietnam’s future,” noted Ambassador Osius during the launch in Hanoi.

Consulate General Deputy Principal Officer Tim Liston learns about 3d printing from a young innovator in Can Tho.
Consulate General Deputy Principal Officer Tim Liston learns about 3d printing from a young innovator in Can Tho.

The forums, which are organized by Arizona State University with support from the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh, connect entrepreneurs, small business owners, startups, educators, makers and inventors with government representatives responsible for developing and administering innovation and entrepreneurship policy. During the forums, participants collaborate to identify challenges and solutions to support the burgeoning ecosystem and create economic value, driving science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) development in Vietnam.

“ASU’s presence has contributed significantly to strengthening Vietnam’s position within ASEAN,” explained Jeffrey Goss, executive director of Global Outreach and Extended Education (GOEE) and Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP). “Developing an increased capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship will serve to create new jobs and attract additional global business partners.”

During his address to participants, Rajesh Nair, the Director of Asia School of Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center in Kuala Lumpur, noted that maker training programs help students, particularly recent graduates, to find jobs in a competitive market. Nair cited the development of digital competence and the sense of initiative and entrepreneurship the forums inspire. “All of these skills are needed for makers,” said Nair. “Schools need an environment that will encourage the habit of creativity and critical thinking. This builds build self-confidence.”

This marks the second year that Arizona State University has hosted the Makers Movement Promotion Forums. In 2015, forums in Ho Chi Minh City and Danang brought together entrepreneurs and representatives of small and medium enterprises, industry, government, academia, and a large number of students.

Background on Arizona State University:

Arizona State University has been actively involved in the modernization of Vietnam’s STEM higher education through the Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program (HEEAP), which was founded in 2010 as a collaborative partnership between ASU, USAID, and Intel. In 2015 a third investment valued at $10.8 million was made into the Building University Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance. Based on the pillars of institutional policy, quality, curriculum, faculty innovation and technology, BUILD-IT leverages diverse government, industry, and academic partners to link STEM instruction in Vietnamese higher education institutions to the needs and capabilities of industry partners in order to produce graduates who lead inclusive, technology-based growth across the country.