RMIT University Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) at the university’s Saigon South campus on July 19.
RMIT Vietnam and SIHUB will cooperate in co-hosting entrepreneurship and innovation-focused national and regional events and programs on a case-by-case basis, in addition to exchanging relevant information, expertise, and available resources.
Mr. Huynh Kim Tuoc, Managing Director of SIHUB, said that educational institutions play a crucial role in the development of startup and innovation ecosystems in Ho Chi Minh City.
“Universities can contribute to this development by designing a standard system of activities, including providing training, building startup and research spaces, and commercializing research outcomes,” he said. “It is a new concept to many local universities, however, and may not be fully developed in a short period of time.”
He hopes that through its great potential, strengths, and staff and students, RMIT Vietnam can be a role model for other local universities to learn from.
“Based on the example of RMIT Vietnam, we can show local institutions how to provide entrepreneur and innovation programs in a university, how to organize entrepreneurial activities within a university, how to form an activator space or activity, and, especially, how to commercialize research outcomes,” Mr. Tuoc said.
RMIT Vietnam President Professor Gael McDonald was thrilled by the formal cooperation. “We see many opportunities where we can support and also learn from SIHUB,” she said.
She also spoke about an entrepreneurship roadmap for RMIT Vietnam students as well as the university’s recently-launched Activator space, where they can nurture their enterprising spirit and practices.
“We have created a physical presence whereby our students can get themselves into a group or get support for ideas that they have,” she said. “We have also developed the Graduate Certificate in Business Startups, which consists of four courses that can be undertaken either through intensive learning or over weekends, as a group or individually, and each one of those courses can be cross-created back into the Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (Executive), or Master of International Business.”
Through these and other initiatives, Professor McDonald believes that the university is well-placed to enhance Vietnam’s entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem.
RMIT University Vietnam is the Asian campus of the Melbourne-based RMIT University. Starting with just over 30 students in 2001 in Ho Chi Minh City and then in Hanoi in 2004, RMIT Vietnam now boasts a dynamic student body of over 6,000 at both campuses. It offers programs in the business, technology, and creative areas, and boasts an impressive range of extra-curricular activities that encourage students to break new ground in their areas of interest.
With support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and MBI, the Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) was officially launched in August 2016. Its mission is to promote and support Ho Chi Minh City to become a leading startup hub in Southeast Asia. To 2020, it aims to connect the global startup community by connecting with international partners and the world’s startup support ecosystems. SIHUB is now connecting and cooperating with many ecosystems from various countries including Switzerland, Sweden, the US, Finland, Canada, South Korea, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.
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