Vietnam, Belgium step up scientific-technological cooperation

Vietnam wants to step up cooperation with countries that have strengths in science-technology like Belgium, Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung has said.

At working sessions with Belgian partners, including Hub.Brussels, Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) and John Cockerill Group in Brussels on February 20, Dung said Belgium has substantial potential to cooperate and support Vietnam in new technologies and renewable energy, especially circuit manufacturing.

Dung led a delegation from ministries, innovation centres, research institutes and universities to Belgium from February 18-21, aiming to concretise the outcomes of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to the European country in December 2022 regarding innovation cooperation.

Hub.Brussels, the Brussels Agency for Business Support, offers a wide range of free advice, services and tools to help projects be successful.

Dung lauded cooperation between the agency and the Vietnam National Innovation Centre (NIC), which have agreed on experience exchange in order to raise innovation and startup capacity of Vietnam and the European Union (EU).

He suggested Hub.Brussels help NIC in operations, and opened its representative office at NIC Hoa Lac to step up the bilateral cooperation in innovative startup ecosystem development.

The minister assigned NIC and the Vietnam Innovation Network in Europe (VINEU) to partner with Hub.Brussels in devising an exchange programme for Vietnamese startups this year.

Annelore Isaac, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Hub.Brussels, expressed her belief in cooperation between the two sides, which would cover health care and construction, and affirmed that the agency stands ready to support Vietnamese startups.

On this occasion, Hub.Brussels, NIC and VINEU signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in innovation and startup.

At another working session with IMEC, a leading R&D and innovation hub in Europe in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, Dung stressed that his ministry wants to promote cooperation between IMEC with Vietnamese organisations and enterprises, especially in the semiconductor R&D, thus helping Vietnam join the global semiconductor supply chain.

He suggested IMEC join hand with NIC and Vietnamese educational institutions to organise cooperation programmes for students and engineers in the semiconductor industry.

A MoU on collaboration in the semiconductor industry was also inked by IMEC and NIC on this occasion, under which IMEC will consider building an R&D centre in the Southeast Asian nation.

Driven since 1817 by the entrepreneurial spirit and passion for innovation of its founder, the John Cockerill Group developed large-scale technological solutions to meet the needs of its time.

Meeting with John Cockerill representatives, Dung emphasised that Vietnam hopes for comprehensive cooperation with the group in energy, saying it should become Vietnam’s strategic partner through cooperation programmes as well as R&D and investment projects.

John Cockerill’s leaders said the group wants to make comprehensive and strategic investment in Vietnam, thus further serving the Southeast Asian and Northeast Asian markets.

The group expects to focus on solutions regarding energy transition, including biomass, hydrogen and low-carbon ones, they noted.

John Cockerill and NIC reached a MoU on this occasion, under which the Belgian group would invest in green hydrogen R&D at the Vietnamese centre and labs for biomass fuel products, and develop products relating to cooling technology in power plants and industries.