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'Innovate like a Swede 2019' launched in Hanoi

Released at: 14:52, 10/09/2019

'Innovate like a Swede 2019' launched in Hanoi

Photo: Nghi Do

Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam and Swedish companies launch fourth holding of contest.

by Nghi Do

The Embassy of Sweden in Vietnam, in collaboration with Swedish companies, launched the “Innovate like a Swede 2019” contest on September 9 in Hanoi.

As part of the commemoration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Vietnam and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Training, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Vietnam Youth Union, the contest is being organized by the embassy together with Swedish companies including Electrolux, Ericsson, Volvo, ABB, Hestra, SKF, TetraPak, AtlasCopco, IKEA, Trelleborg, Tundra, and Uppsala University.

Innovate like a Swede is an annual innovation contest for Vietnamese university students with the purpose of encouraging creativity and finding innovative solutions for challenges related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in Agenda 2030, faced in a local context. Each year, the contest focuses on a specific SDG. For 2019, it will be Goal No 9: Building resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation.

“Swedish society has a long tradition of fostering innovation,” Swedish Ambassador H.E. Ann Måwe told the ceremony to launch the contest. “Our experience has proven that encouraging innovative ideas from an early age is crucial to the development of businesses and society in general. With youth comes optimism, vibrancy, and new energy. In order to boost innovation, we should inspire and encourage environments where young people are free and supported to take responsibility to come up with solutions to address development challenges of today and tomorrow. Young people are agents of change and innovation.”

Ambassador Måwe also complimented Vietnam’s strategic directions to promote innovation while stressing that innovation is a critical factor for the country in progressing and achieving the SDGs.

The launch will be followed by a roadshow to Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hanoi, where organizers will meet with students and talk about innovation and the SDGs, together with the companies and Uppsala University.

Participants can apply in teams of two and their contribution will be assessed based on whether their entries are innovative, creative, feasible, sustainable, and commercially viable, as well as on what kind of lasting impact they will have. The jury consists of representatives from participating Swedish companies and Uppsala University. The deadline for submissions is November 19.

“Through this contest, we want to inspire Vietnamese students about innovation impacting the environment, including innovative functions in products, as well as change consumption habits,” said Ms. Ban Thuy Kieu Trang, Head of Marketing at Electrolux Vietnam. “The change towards sustainable development comes not only from enterprises but also the whole community. Students will understand more about the mindset of Swedish people and its businesses towards sustainable development. Our goal in joining the contest is to raise awareness in Vietnam.”

The grand prize is a trip to Sweden and a visit to witness Swedish innovations at Swedish companies’ headquarters and at Uppsala University. The winning team will also, together with the runners up, be given internship opportunities at Swedish companies in Vietnam.

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