Harnessing opportunities in key sectors

Science, technology and innovation

Vietnam and Australia have complementary interests in science, technology and innovation

Innovation will not only be critical for both countries’ COVID-19 response, but essential to underpin trade competitiveness and industrial development more generally.

The Australia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership recognises innovation as one of the three pillars (along with economic and security) based on our shared belief that knowledge and innovation will underpin our future sustainable growth and prosperity.

Vietnam has a large appetite for greater international research links, driven by the Industry 4.0 and broader reform agendas. Australian research is highly regarded. Between 2017-20, Australia ranked fifth among countries engaging in joint research with Vietnam.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has established an office at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi to drive Australia’s innovation and knowledge partnership with Vietnam. CSIRO and ACIAR continue to establish innovation and research partnerships with a range of Vietnamese commercial and government organisations, which can create platforms for future commercial engagement. Australian universities are also developing commercial and research links with Vietnam to access global markets for research services and commercialisation.

Innovation is a core enabler in the Australia-Vietnam development cooperation relationship. Aus4Innovation ⎯ through providing partnership grants for technology commercialisation ⎯ assists Vietnam to prepare for a digital future, promote industry-relevant research and technology transfer models, and enhance creative thinking and transferable soft skills through capacity building to fuel an entrepreneurial economy.


Vietnam is an innovation nation, well placed to seize the opportunities of an increasing digital future, leveraging its core strengths in science and technology. In the 2020 Global Innovation Index, Vietnam ranked 42 and is the best ranked lower-middle income country in the Index52.

Vietnam is proactively acting to make innovation central to an enterprise-led socio-economic development strategy. The development of the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (2020-2030) framed by a national socio-economic development plan, is placing technology and innovation centre stage in new growth plans. This, in combination with a range of enterprise friendly economic policies, creates the conditions for accelerating the technological upgrade of key sectors that are critical to achieving balanced growth objectives.

Aus4Innovation builds skills, experience and institutional capacity in science commercialisation.

Vietnam’s research and innovation ecosystem is broad and agencies such as the Ministry for Science and Technology, the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development and the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology are actively looking to increase their collaboration with Australian partners.


The Australian Government, businesses and the research sector are working to increase the nation’s capabilities in science, technology and innovation.

Australia has developed a set of national science and research priorities to increase investment in areas of immediate and critical importance to Australia and its place in the world. The nine priorities are: food, soil and water, transport, cyber security, energy, resources, advanced manufacturing, environmental change, and health.

The National Science Statement sets out the Australian Government’s vision for science in Australia and a strategic policy framework to guide future decision making in science.

The Australian Government’s Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund, announced in 2021, will help support international collaboration with Vietnam.

Further opportunities

Increasing connectivity among researchers, entrepreneurs and high-tech businesses in priority trade and investment sectors, like resources and energy, agriculture, and climate, will stimulate medium-term growth.

For example, improved water management is needed to address water quality and other environmental issues in Vietnam. Australian water supply, management and treatment firms are well placed to assist Vietnam address water management needs.

Science, technology and innovation

Australia and Vietnam have complementary interests in science, technology, and innovation.

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  • [52] Cornell University, INSEAD, and WIPO 2020, The Global Innovation Index 2020: Who Will Finance Innovation? Ithaca, Fontainebleau, and Geneva