World Bank-funded innovation project invites proposals

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015 19:12

World Bank Country Director in Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa makes a speech at the opening for the first call for proposals for WB-funded Vietnam Inclusive Innovation Project. — VNS Photo Lan Dung
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) has invited proposals for World Bank (WB)-funded Vietnam Inclusive Innovation Project.

To be implemented during the 2013 to 2018 period, the project will aim to support Vietnamese research organisations, enterprises and individuals and help them adopt, upgrade, develop and commercialise technologies to deliver high performance products and technological solutions at an affordable cost for the benefit of the poorest.

It will also prioritise technological solutions for traditional herbal medicine, information and communication technology applications, as well as agriculture and aquaculture technologies.

The project's total investment is US$55,625,000, with preferential loan worth $55 million drawn from the WB's International Development Association (IDA) and $625,000 from the Vietnamese government's corresponding capital.

MPI's Enterprise Development Agency will be responsible for the management and execution of this project. The National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) will manage capital allocated for participating organisations and individuals. Vietcombank and Vietinbank have also been selected to manage the loans of enterprises.

The closing date for the first call is March 31. The second and third calls will conclude on June 30 and October 31, respectively. However, the project's management board will start considering proposals after receiving 100 submissions.

Speaking at the opening of the first call for proposals on February 10 in Ha Noi, MPI Deputy Minister Dang Huy Dong emphasized the importance of the first invitation for proposals related to the project. He also expressed his belief that the project will attract considerable participation from research organisations, enterprises and individuals.

"I hope that during the first call for proposals, the project will select many outstanding ideas with advanced technologies and excellent innovation," he said.

Agreeing with Dong, WB Country Director in Viet Nam Victoria Kwakwa also termed the project "a very important milestone."

"We are very excited about it because we try to bring innovation as a means to helping solve day-to-day challenges that poor Vietnamese people face. The project will bring together new ideas and innovation to solve these problems in a way that helps Viet Nam continue to make progress in its poverty reduction objectives," she said.

Kwakwa also said the the project is not focusing on big enterprises, but only on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). She added that assisting SMEs will support Viet Nam's efforts to strengthen its domestic private sector and boost growth. — VNS

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