A Memorandum of Understanding on the Newton Programme Vietnam was signed in Hanoi on 3 June 2015 by British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever and Minister of Science and Technology of Vietnam Nguyen Quan. Under this new programme, up to £10 million from the UK government is available to support a comprehensive and co-funded UK-Vietnam research and innovation partnership through to 2019.
The Newton Programme Vietnam offers a wide range of funding opportunities for both Vietnamese and UK scientists, researchers and other stakeholders including science managers and innovative businesses. Activities will be focussed around: People, with research capacity-building and fellowships; Research, with collaborative research projects on development challenges; and Translation, with training and partnerships to turn research into practical applications and development solutions.
The programme will focus on such thematic priorities as health and life sciences; agriculture; environmental resilience and energy security; future cities; and digital, innovation and creativity.
Commenting of the significance of the Newton Programme Vietnam, the Rt Hon Hugo Swire, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Asia, said:
Our collaboration on science and innovation has strengthened the UK-Vietnam relationship, and allowed us to work together in ever more ambitious and innovative ways. The UK is a world leader in this area and wants to support Vietnam’s sustainable development, whilst also boosting the potential and capability of the industry in the UK. I hope that members of the science and innovation communities in both countries will continue to take advantage of the exciting opportunities our partnership offers.
The Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan said:
Commitments in the Memorandum of Understanding meet our targets in human resource development, research and innovation to promote Vietnam’s sustainable development and social welfare. Through the Programme, the UK research institutions, organisations and academies will support and share with Vietnam their successful experience in translating science, technology and innovation into socio-economic growth momentum; more specifically the UK will help Vietnam to build capacity for its research and innovation system, from which science and innovation can best contribute to the country’s development.
The British Embassy Hanoi and the Ministry of Science and Technology will act as the lead coordinators of the Newton Programme in Vietnam. In addition, different schemes will be delivered directly by an initial core group of expert organisations. From the UK these organisations include the British Council, Research Councils UK, UK Academies and Innovate UK. From Vietnam, they include the International Cooperation Department, the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development, National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation under MOST and Vietnam International Education Department under Ministry of Education and Training.
Notes for editors:
The Newton Programme (i.e. Newton Fund) is an initiative announced by the UK Government which will enable the UK to use its strength in research and innovation to promote the economic and development and social welfare of 15 partner countries.
Globally the UK Government has committed to provide £375 million over five years from 2014 to 2019.
The Fund is administered by UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills.