Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City aims at becoming nucleus of Ho Chi Minh City’s innovative eastern urban area


HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – Media OutReach – 18 March 2021 – The HCM City People’s Committee has recognised the Việt Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNUHCM) as a hub of science, technology, culture, and knowledge in the city’s innovative eastern area.

The area has contributed to the establishment of a value-added chain for a high-technology platform and international standard technical infrastructure.

City leaders are expecting the eastern innovative urban area to help connect science-technology research and application centres, high-quality human resource training institutions, hi-tech products, services trading and production centres.

The area will become a hub that spearheads economic development in the city and southern region in the context of industry 4.0.

Innovative center

Spread over 643 ha, VNUHCM has been developed as a centre to train undergraduates and postgraduates and carry on high-quality research in many fields to serve the country’s socio-economic development needs.

It is the largest higher education establishment in the country with 36 institutions for training, researching and transferring technologies, including seven member universities: the University of Technology, University of Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, International University, University of Information Technology, University of Economics and Law, and An Giang University, and the Institute for Environment and Resources.

In addition, in the 2016 – 2020 period, VNUHCM has trained more than 60,000 engineers, doctors, graduates, postgraduates, and PhDs who are certain to contribute to the development of the city and southern region.

As of now it has had 66 internationally accredited training programmes and was ranked in the top 701-750 in the 2020 QS World University Rankings. In this period, it presented more than 20,000 scientific research papers at conferences and published them in local and international journals. VNUHCM signed more than 3,000 contracts with provinces and enterprises for technology transfer worth nearly VNĐ 250 billion (US$10.8 million) a year in the 2016-2020 period.

A household aquaponic model that integrates vegetable and fish farming has, for instance, been transferred to Tây Ninh and Đồng Tháp provinces.

Furthermore, cartilatist stem medicine has been developed by the Stem Cell Institute at the University of Science to treat osteoarthritis and degenerative spinal conditions. Subsequently, it has been transferred to the Vạn Hạnh General Hospital Co. Ltd. An automatic system to monitor and warn about saltwater intrusion has been transferred to the provinces of An Giang and Vĩnh Long.

During COVID-19 outbreaks last year, VNUHCM researchers developed a number of products used for the prevention and control of epidemics.

The number of papers VNUHCM published in international journals doubled in the 2016-2020 period from the previous five years.

As of October 2020, it had filed 527 applications for patents and 566 technology transfer contracts and scientific services that fetched revenues of VNĐ104.2 billion (US$4,5 million).

In The World University Rankings 2021 of 1,527 universities, VNUHCM was in 658th spot in the category of income from technology transfer and 838th in international potential.

One of VNUHCM’s strategies is to continue focusing on scientific and technological development and innovation to help implement national and southern region development strategies and to raise its international profile.

In 2020-2030 period, it plans to offer international-standard training programmes in ICT, AI and urban management. AI applications for use in traffic regulation, healthcare, finance, and commerce will be developed during this period.

VNUHCM is one of the higher education establishments in the country offering students training programs in two majors simultaneously. It has tied up with a number of member universities of the ASEAN University Network-the ASEAN Credit Transfer System for exchange students and also has agreements with universities in the US, the UK, France, Australia, and other countries.

In the last 25 years VNUHCM has adopted modern methodologies and integrated technologies for training.

In November in last year VNUHCM signed an agreement with the Saigon Hi-Tech Park for technology transfer to enterprises in the park for commercialisation.

They will join hands for an action plan to establish the innovative eastern urban area, a high-quality human resource training programme at hi-tech industries and an innovative start-up ecosystem.

VNUHCM’s Innovative Entrepreneurship Center has carried out many programmes to assist start-ups and links these start-ups with investors and service providers.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vũ Hải Quân, VNUHCM’s chancellor, said skilled human resources, technology transfer, advanced IT, and policies for development are key pillars for setting up the innovative eastern urban area. The project is implemented in Thủ Đức City and spreads over nearly 21,000 hectares.

Moreover, the innovative eastern area has invested in traffic systems including the metro line 1, Belt Road No.3 and the HCM City-Long Thành-Dầu Giây expressway, which helps connect with neighbouring provinces.

In January, the city People’s Committee approved the master plan to develop the innovative eastern urban area in the 2020-2035 period and it will be carried out in three specific stages.

According to VNUHCM, while carrying out the work, city authorities and relevant agencies should pay close attention to developing traffic infrastructure in the innovative eastern urban area especially VNUHCM and Saigon Hi-Tech Park to create the most favourable conditions for interaction and development.

VNUHCM aims to become the nucleus of the area by 2030.