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RMIT hosts 2017 Innovation Forum

Released at: 16:25, 24/08/2017

RMIT hosts 2017 Innovation Forum

Photo: RMIT

August 22 forum at RMIT's Saigon South campus examined issues and initiatives shaping growth in Vietnam and around the world.

by My Van

The 2017 Innovation Forum hosted on August 22 by RMIT University Vietnam, in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, and the Pharmaceutical Sector Committee of EuroCham (the Pharma Group), with support from the Australian Government, examined pressing issues and initiatives that are shaping growth in Vietnam and around the world.

The event was also intended to contribute to discussions within APEC over the next few months.

The one-day forum at RMIT Vietnam’s Saigon South campus featured expert presentations and panel discussions on trends in healthcare, major issues shaping education, the business of sustainability and climate change, and disruptive innovation in IT.

In her opening remarks at the event, Professor Gael McDonald from RMIT Vietnam said she was thrilled to be involved in a day filled with inspiring, challenging, and engaging discussions and debates.

“While there are examples of innovation all around us and in everything we do, we’ll focus on a few key areas: healthcare, IT, sustainable energy, and of course, education,” she said. “We are passionate about being innovative in what we do at RMIT Vietnam, and that’s why we’re so thrilled to host this event.”  

In the first session, participants explored how healthcare innovation is changing the lives of patients, the way the pharmaceutical industry is operating, and the associated opportunities and challenges. The second session featured prominent educators, including Professor McDonald, discussing issues such as inclusion, STEM education in Vietnam, and alternatives to traditional education. 

Energy consumption and sustainability were the main themes of the third panel discussion, while the final session of the day featured a robust discussion on how technological innovations can disrupt traditional businesses such as recruitment and fashion.

“It’s not just about the expert speakers we have for the day who will guide us through the topics,” Professor McDonald said. “This room is filled with brilliant minds and we’re all from a range of backgrounds, whether it’s industry, government or academia. Coming together like this is a great way to spark even more new ideas and approaches.”

“The forum will be a bridge to connect participants and speakers in exchanging their innovative ideas,” said Associate Professor Tran Hung, Dean of Pharmacy and Vice-President of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City.

Mr. Jan Rask Christensen, Senior Director of the Pharma Group, added that with the current development of the regulatory framework, Vietnam has a great opportunity to improve patient access to quality healthcare and innovative medicines and create a predictable and transparent investment environment, which would enable the innovative pharmaceutical industry to continue pushing the healthcare frontier. In order to achieve this, multi-stakeholder engagement and dialogue is required, which would include the government, NGOs, and the pharmaceutical industry. The Pharma Group and its members remain committed to partnering with the Vietnamese Government.

RMIT University Vietnam is the Asian campus of the Melbourne-based RMIT University. Starting with just over 30 students in 2001 in Ho Chi Minh City, and then in Hanoi in 2004, it now boasts a dynamic student body of over 6,500 in both campuses. It offers programs in the business, technology, and creative areas, and boasts an impressive range of extra-curricular activities that encourage students to break new ground in their areas of interest.

The Pharma Group represents the voice of the international research-based pharmaceutical industry in Vietnam. It currently has 26 members who all share a vision of creating sustainable access to high quality, safe, and innovative medicines for Vietnamese patients.

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