Innovate Like a Swede contest launched    
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Innovate Like a Swede contest launched
Sep 21 2017

The Swedish Embassy in Hanoi has launched the nationwide “Innovate Like a Swede” contest, to inspire sustainable development in response to the many challenges Vietnam faces in terms of climate change and sustainable development. The purpose of the contest is to encourage Vietnamese university students to be innovative and adopt solution-based thinking that is sustainable and creative and has a positive future impact.

The contest will be an annual event that allows participating students to identify sustainable solutions to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a Vietnamese context. This year the competition focuses on SDG No. 12, Responsible Production and Consumption, and will inspire Vietnamese students to be innovative and find tangible solutions to reaching the goal.

Reaching the SDGs is a high priority for Sweden and the embassy targets promoting these values in Vietnam and encouraging an exchange of knowledge and ideas between the two countries, according to Mr. Johan Alvin, Second Secretary at the Embassy. Innovation and cooperation across borders and sectors is a key aspect in reaching a sustainable present and future.

It is also crucial to engage future leaders and the innovators of tomorrow to create a context where sustainable solutions are preferred. That is why Innovate Like a Swede is so important. It merges Swedish innovative capacity and the knowledge of well-established international companies with the young and creative minds of Vietnamese. “Vietnam faces many challenges, but with these challenges there is also an opportunity to be innovative and to think outside of the box,” Mr. Alvin said. “This is something that we want to encourage through Innovate Like a Swede.”

The contest is open to students in years one to five at universities nationwide. Open until November 11, entries can comprise anything from completely new ideas or possible products, services, and solutions that contribute to sustainable production and responsible consumption. They can also be technical solutions or can also be ideas.

A jury consisting of representatives from Swedish companies and universities in Vietnam will judge the entries on the basis of feasibility and commercial viability, the degree of innovation, and the potential level of impact. The winning team will be rewarded with a study visit to Swedish companies’ regional headquarters in Singapore next year. Runners-up will receive internships at Swedish companies in Vietnam.

Appreciating the support from Sweden over many years, especially in education and health, Mr. Pham Quang Hung, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Education and Training’s International Cooperation Department, said the contest is a chance for participants to show their scientific creativity and will be a rewarding experience for the students.