The first workshop in Can Tho will be held on February 6th and the second round of events for invited teams will commence in early March.
IPP organized three co-creation workshops for teams interested in the program’s support for innovation projects. There were over 350 participants in three cities – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang – including more than 150 teams that approached IPP with an Expression of Interest. These numbers suggest that there is great interest towards innovation in the three regions – IPP would like to thank all participants.
IPP is now going through the Expressions of Interest it has received and will contact all teams by the end of January. The most promising teams will be invited to the second round of co-creation events in March, where we will focus on preparing project proposals. New teams, especially those in Can Tho and surrounding provinces, are still encouraged to send their Expression of Interest. All in all, IPP aims to select around 15 company projects and 4 innovation system development projects in 2015 with funding decisions made during the summer.
The workshops consisted of two sessions. In the morning, IPP presented the program and its offering to the broad audience. The afternoon was reserved for 1-on-1 talks, where teams had the opportunity to present their ideas to IPP experts and establish a connection for further discussions. Event presentations can be downloaded from our website Library.
We had a full house in Hanoi on January 7th at the Meliá Hotel. With almost 200 people in the audience, chairs ran out and some participants were forced to stand. In his introductory words, IPP’s Chief Technical Adviser Mr. Lauri Laakso compared the co-creation workshop to a blind date: “During the day and the 1-on-1 ‘speed dates’, we hope to make many matches between IPP and the teams.”
Speaking at the workshop, IPP’s Project Director Dr. Tran Quoc Thang said Vietnam can achieve sustainable development by investing in innovation. “During the second phase, IPP will support the boosting of innovation activities in enterprises and help them achieve sustainable development thereby making contributions to national socio-economic growth.” stated Dr. Thang.
IPP experts spoke with over 70 teams in Hanoi and heard many promising ideas across different sectors.
Ho Chi Minh City highlights
In the HCMC event on January 9th at the Grand Hotel Saigon, Senior Innovation Adviser Mr. Riku Mäkelä encouraged all teams to apply the Needs, Approach, Benefits, Competition (NABC) approach in developing and implementing their ideas. Riku used the Finnish gaming company Rovio and its famous Angry Birds as an example. In developing its successful game, Rovio followed a process, where it defined the needs of customers and stakeholders, found a solution to meet these needs, assessed the benefits of this solution for customers, positioned itself against competition, and reserved adequate human and financial resources.
IPP met 60 interesting teams in Ho Chi Minh City. This coconut from a company called Hamona is targeting the global beverage market and the team behind came to learn more about how IPP could support them.
Da Nang highlights
The event in Grand Mercure Hotel Da Nang on January 14th was slightly smaller, around 60 participants, but IPP was impressed by well-prepared EoI’s it received from teams and consortia there.
Innovation Finance Expert Ms. DT Hang presented IPP’s eligibility criteria and scope of support. IPP will provide training, early stage seed funding, connections and expertise for the projects of new innovative companies developing products and services for the international markets. IPP’s support for companies cannot be compared to traditional R&D funding – we are looking for fast growth projects and expect companies to have a product in the market within the first 1-2 years after receiving the IPP grant and participating in practical innovation training. For innovation system development projects, IPP is looking for consortia of local actors that are working together to develop long-lasting support structures, mechanisms or programs for innovative companies in the province. Adopting a broad and systemic approach, the organizations should take the lead in connecting local anchor companies, SME’s, startups, knowledge providers, innovation support organisations as well as international partners together to build new sustaining innovation support structures.
In Da Nang, the innovation and start-up ecosystem is only emerging. New companies need a lot of support from their environment to succeed in international markets. IPP met with a large consortium that is developing incubator services in Da Nang.