Partnership discussion ©

British Council

Research Environment Links (REL) Grant is part of the Newton Fund Professional Development and Engagement (PDE) programme, provided by the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and delivered by the British Council.  The Fund builds research and innovation partnerships with partner countries to support their economic development and social welfare, and to develop their research and innovation capacity for long-term sustainable growth.

REL grants aim to support international collaboration through training programmes, the exchange of knowledge and best practice, the development and implementation of pilot activities in the areas relevant to the Newton capacity building strands. The partnerships are led by institutions in Vietnam in conjunction with an expert counterpart organisation in the UK. This call is designed to be flexible and responsive to in-country needs, allowing applicants to establish collaboration on areas linked to country priorities and development needs, and to then bring in relevant UK expertise.

Find out which projects have already received grants since 2017.

On-going project: "Towards risk reduction and resilience to coastal hazards: A Big Data analytics approach"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Thuy Loi University
  • UK counterpart partner: Queen's University Belfast

On-going project: "Gas sensors for biomedical and environmental applications in Smart Cities and agriculture in Vietnam: Towards a Vietnamese centre of Nanoscience"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: The Research Laboratories of Saigon High Tech Park
  • UK counterpart partner: The University of York

On-going project: "Network of Excellence and Hi-Tech hub for Vietnam's Industry 4.0 via the UK-Vietnam collaborations in Smart Manufacturing (i4SMART)

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Le Quy Don Technical University
  • UK counterpart partner: University of Greenwich

On-going project: "Circular economy knowledge hub: Promoting multi-disciplinary research, capacity building and leadership"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: School of Environmental Science and Technology, Hanoi University of Science and Technology
  • UK counterpart partner: Aston University

On-going project: "Building public health resilience in Vietnam: An early warning system using artificial intelligence"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Hanoi University of Public Health
  • UK counterpart partner: Queen's University Belfast

Completed project: “Application of hormone therapy for improving the reproductive performance of dairy cattle in Vietnam”

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Biodiversity Conservation and Tropical Diseases Research Institute
  • UK counterpart partner: University of Edinburgh

Improving fertility in Vietnamese dairy cows

At present, only 30% of Vietnam's milk consumption is met from home production, with the remainder imported. The Vietnamese dairy herd has expanded recently, but failure to get cows back in calf is limiting dairy herd productivity. Improving herd fertility will increase milk production from the existing herd.

This project organised an exchange of UK and Vietnamese experts to share knowledge and skills. In Vietnam, 900 dairy cows that were struggling to get in calf were examined, and diagnosed conditions that prevented them ovulating. A series of workshops in Vietnam highlighted the issues with dairy farmers, veterinarians and farm consultants, with literature produced to help staff diagnose fertility issues correctly for appropriate treatment.

“Getting more dairy cows back in calf results in more milk sold for Vietnamese dairy farmers, and less reliance on milk imports.” Associate Professor Dr Su Thanh Long, Project lead

Watch the project video.

Completed project: “An Internet of Things based resilient, efficient, and safe agriculture ecosystem (IoT-RESA)”

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Duy Tan University
  • UK counterpart partner: Queen's University Belfast

Internet of Things in smart farming: The future of agriculture

In Vietnam, agriculture is the largest sector employing more than 45% of the total workforce yet contributing less than 20% of GDP. The project aims to propose emerging Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in order to establish a sustainable agricultural ecosystem that meets the requirements of resilience, efficiency and safety (IoT-RESA).

Led by Dr Vo Nguyen Son, Duy Tan University, Vietnam and Professor Duong Quang Trung, Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom, the project enabled scientists from both countries to work closely on IoT solutions for improving of agriculture in Vietnam. The group published 12 conference papers and 12 journal articles. Three international conferences, one workshop, one training week, one summer school and five visits involving more than 500 scientists, stake holders, industry partners, leaders, early-career researchers were organised to maximise the project's impact.

The project provided activities to improve human resource skills and research knowledge in the field of agriculture and IoT. It has raised the awareness on IoT solutions in tackling the problems of agriculture at national level. It attracts more investments in academic and technology sectors from the UK to Vietnam to deploy IoT-based agriculture for sustainable development and high living quality.

“This grant stimulates UK experts and Vietnamese researchers to apply IoT solutions to agriculture in Vietnam.”, Dr Duong Quang Trung, Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom

Completed project: “Establishing a sustainable research in Internet of Things toward a resilient Vietnam society and future cities"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: School of Electronics and Telecommunications, Hanoi University of Science and Technology 
  • UK counterpart partner: University of Liverpool

Internet of Things to change Agriculture City management of Vietnam to go greener and smarter

Vietnam is an agricultural country with very dense population in big cities where we seek to build human capacity in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that can bring more productive, sustainable and efficient agriculture and aquaculture production and also environmental resilience for the country.

The project disseminated knowledge to more than 200 professionals and students through a summer course and workshops;  promoted various IoT applications such as for smart irrigation in agriculture, air pollution monitoring in the city, water pollution monitoring for efficient aquaculture,  radiation detection under mines, detection of forest fires, efficient transmission over IoT channels;  supported to train five staff at the University of Liverpool and to publish five IEEE conference papers and 1 ISI-indexed/ Q2-ranked journal.

The project positioned the UK as a leader in developing entrepreneurial high-tech infrastructure; this was achieved by fostering close academic engagement with selected industry sectors in Vietnam. These areas provide a rich environment to examine mechanisms for building safe and secure IT/ IoT Infrastructure that is also open to all. The resulting research increased the international profile and reach for the UK institutions, opening up further opportunities for long-term collaborations.

Watch the project video

Completed project: “Building capacity for National Economics University to set up Hanoi Impact Hub”

  • Vietnam lead applicant: National Economics University
  • UK counterpart partner: University of Northampton

Impact Space: the first incubator of social innovators in Vietnam

“Innovators for a better Vietnam!”

Vietnam faces with many social and environmental issues. Youth needs to be an important force to develop an economy which is inclusive for everyone and sustainable in economic, social and environmental terms. Center for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CSIE) under the National Economics University adopts the mission to develop that generation.

Market research, business plan and social impact measurement tools of the Impact Space were studied and completed. CSIE branding, the capacity of CSIE team and the Impact Space ecosystem were built through training of core team, of mentors, trainers; social innovation competition was designed and implemented; country report on social impact business sector and hosting public workshop in Impact village in Techfest 2019 was co-realised by project partners.

The project strengthened the position of the UK as a leader in social enterprise and social innovation in Vietnam that resulted in a signed strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between University of Northampton, United Kingdom and the National Economics University, Vietnam

Completed project: "Online price collection and inflation nowcasting"

  • Vietnam lead applicant: Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research, University of Economics and Business, Vietnam National University - Hanoi
  • UK counterpart partner: Swansea University

Online Price Collection and Inflation Nowcasting

The recent inflation forecasting procedure is expensive and complex with slow updates, calling for an innovation. The research collaboration between Swansea University (UK) and Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research - VEPR (Vietnam) supported by Newton Fund/ British Council was designed to meet this demand.

In response to the need to have a cost-effective and timely inflation forecasting process, the project has built an automated procedure that collects publicly available goods prices from online sellers in Vietnam and use these data to nowcast inflation indices. It did so through capacity building for researchers at VEPR and researchers from other institutions in Vietnam (e.g. Foreign Trade University) as well as engagement with policy makers (e.g. General Statistics Office).

“The use of Big Data analytics in economic studies/ policy-making will contribute to the digital economic transformation in Vietnam.”, Professor Sasha Talavera, Swansea University, United Kingdom

The project can promote the UK as a leader in undertaking multidisciplinary and innovative research as well as the UK's active role in capacity building and knowledge spill over. The project also enhances the link between research institutes and government, and encourages their engagement to utilize results from academic research in policy making.

Watch the project video

Completed project: “Delivering an ecosystem-based approach for sustainable marine fisheries and biodiversity in Vietnam”

  • Vietnam lead applicant: The Research Institute for Marine Fisheries (RIMF)
  • UK counterpart partner: Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

The large part of the project is aimed at building links and capacity between fisheries scientists in the UK and Viet Nam, along with identifying the major impediments to achieving good environmental status. It also includes a considerable element of data analysis in order to define ecologically meaningful spatial management areas. This analysis was targeted at using the available data to describe the Vietnamese marine territory, in terms of its environmental and biological characteristics, with a view to reforming the current spatial management structure into one that aims to more directly reflect the ecological boundaries in Vietnamese waters (so-called Ecosystem Production Units, or EPUs). Although it is beyond the scope of a single year project to achieve a fully integrated assessment framework for Viet Nam waters, the analysis conducted as part of this project is an important facet of beginning the process of achieving Ecosystem-based management.

Read the report.