Currently, Vietnam is trying to expand its energy production through various sources, including both renewable and non-renewable. Decisions taken today will have long-term impact on the Vietnamese economy and environment. Policy makers believe that over-reliance on renewable sources is not very practical because of minimum production capacity, distribution related constraints, and lack of mature business models.
From 15 to 17 May 2017 University of Salford, UK and Can Tho University, Vietnam co-organised a UK–Vietnam workshop on 'Developing a research agenda to ensure Vietnam's Secure, Sustainable and Resilient Energy Supply' that was organised under the Researcher Links component of the Newton Fund and delivered by the British Council in Vietnam. Through the Researcher Links format, two established researchers from each country act as mentors. The established researchers present keynote lectures and support early career researchers to develop individual ideas and discuss long-term research collaborations.
The workshop gathered 45 researchers from Vietnam and 15 from the UK for a scientific multi-disciplined dialogue focusing on energy resilience in Vietnam. Groups were formed based on their expertise and skills to discuss three main topics.
'Jointly developing research proposals during the workshop was an excellent use of time, participating rather than just listening to the presentations resulted in an active few days. “New” learning included the extensive work Vietnam had been undertaking in ensuring energy resilience.' - Stephen Greenhalgh, PhD candidate and full-time employee of Highways England.
1. Sustainable and resilient energy
- International perspectives on security and resilience within the energy industry
- power management and approaches to enhance building/infrastructure performance to achieve energy consumption reduction.
2. Smart cities and infrastructure
- developing energy and smart city infrastructure: improving lives with existing and planned infrastructure, transportation, technologies, and trends.
3. Technology and process innovation
- role of Lean leadership (The ultimate goal of “Lean” is to provide perfect value to the customer through a perfect value creation process that has zero waste) and policies in achieving sustainability via optimised processes, waste reduction, and energy management
- energy management and innovative technologies
- education, culture and people.
Participants created a professional Linked-in group and developed research projects. As a direct result of scientific interactions established during this workshop, three research bids have already been submitted by participants in the current round of Newton funding.
Associate Professor Dr Nguyen Chi Ngon, Dean of College of Can Tho Engineering Technology stated that 'We have immensely benefited from the delivery of the workshop in multiple ways. The workshop helped us better understand research interests of colleagues from the UK, and explore collaborative work opportunities. Early career researchers working alongside senior mentors explored opportunities for submitting for research grants.'