(Hanoi, 9 - 12 March) 40 early-career researchers from the UK and Vietnam today joined the international Researcher Links 2015 workshop on Innovation in Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Environment. The workshop introduced 24 papers on the latest research and technologies in the field of applied chemistry to solve environmental problems.
Researcher Links 2015 was organised by the British Council Vietnam, in cooperation with Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam; Vietnam Inclusive Innovation Project – VIIP, Ministry of Planning and Investment and Newcastle University, UK.
Metal recycling from electronic waste, Biomass for energy and environmental control, Greener nano-materials for more sustainable electrochemical energy storage, Co-treatment of organic fractions of urban waste for energy recovery - a case study from Hanoi, Vietnam and natural compounds and biotechnology – these are some of key research topics presented by early-career researchers from UK and Vietnam with the aim of enhancing international research collaboration.
Researcher Links 2015 in Vietnam has attracted academics from world renowned institutions such as Newcastle University, University of York, University of Leicester, City University London, University of Strathclyde (UK), Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan and from leading institutions in Vietnam such as Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Vietnam National University, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and National University of Civil Engineering. In particular, joining the workshop was Dr Christopher Jones, Turnkey Technology Manager, System Engineering Department from Edwards Ltd (UK). Edwards is currently a leading developer and manufacturer of sophisticated vacuum products and abatement solutions in the environmental field.
Researcher Links 2015 introduced, for the first time, the Newton Fund, a newly-launched UK initiative in the UK’s science and technology assistance programme to Vietnam. This provides grants for research and innovation projects in health and life sciences, improving environmental resilience and energy security, future cities and social science, agriculture, digital innovation and creativity. As one of ten selected UK partners for Newton Fund delivery, the British Council will manage a fund of more than £3 million over the five years 2014-2018.
Also presented at the event, was the Vietnam Inclusive Innovation Project – VIIP – who introduced the opportunity to obtain grants for research which is under VIIP prioritised research areas.
Researcher Links 2015 started with a policy dialogue on the theme of ‘Innovation and Change: Vietnam-UK Collaborative Research’. At the dialogue, Dr Pham Hong Quat, Director of Department of Market and Sci-Tech Enterprise Development, highlighted the role of innovation in chemical engineering in the presentation titled ‘Modern Technologies for Social and Economic Development and Sustainability - Vietnamese Government priorities’. The policy dialogue also compared case studies on the application of technology and innovation in the UK and Vietnam.
Throughout the four days of the workshop, early-career researchers will have the chance to present their research and discuss ideas for future research collaboration. Ideas can then be outlined and submitted to the Researcher Links team to obtain travel grants for research visits of up to 3 months for research collaboration purposes between UK and Vietnam. In 2014, 21 early-career researchers in Vietnam received travel grants and implemented their research collaboration projects with UK colleagues.
Cherry Gough, Country Director of British Council Vietnam said: ‘With £4.6 billion per annum funding for science and research programmes, the UK is committed to help researchers, developers, innovators and businesses bring together specific knowledge, skills, technical resources and financial capital.
‘Chemical Engineering for a sustainable environment is a high priority in most countries in the world, including the UK and Vietnam. Researcher Links 2015 is a great opportunity for Vietnamese and UK researchers to exchange the latest technological information and work together on new research projects aimed at solving problems in areas such as the environment and sustainable energy. For the UK early career researchers coming here, I believe that these new connections and the opportunity to learn about research and case studies from Vietnam will help them generate new ideas for their own research.’