Monash University helps Vietnamese startups unlock their potential

September 28, 2023 | 13:09
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On September 20, TECHFEST 2023 – Vietnam's largest annual event for innovative startups – was held at Monash University, Australia. Susan Elliott AM, interim president and vice-chancellor of Monash University, sat down for an interview with VIR's Thanh Van about its role in promoting and supporting creativity and innovation, especially for Vietnamese startups.
Monash University helps Vietnamese startups unlock their potential
Huynh Thanh Dat, Minister of Science and Technology, and Susan Elliott AM, interim president and vice-chancellor of Monash University

What does it mean to Monash University to successfully host International TECHFEST 2023?

We are pleased to host International TECHFEST 2023 – the first time the event has been held in Australia – as we celebrate the milestone of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Australia. We are delighted to collaborate with Vietnam's Ministry of Science and Technology and to have the opportunity to welcome the country's delegation to Monash.

International TECHFEST 2023 reflects Monash University’s distinctive global footprint and commitment to international collaborations. It is a wonderful platform to strengthen relations between Monash and Vietnam, and deepen our connections with Vietnamese students, researchers, and industry leaders.

Importantly, this event offers a significant opportunity to enhance the potential of the Vietnamese and Australian markets and their tech solutions while promoting cross-border cooperation.

Monash University's dedication to research excellence and its ability to translate this into commercial success means it is well-placed to host TECHFEST 2023. We’re proud to be home to major research facilities and programmes that support creativity and innovation, such as the Monash Technology Precinct, the Industry Innovation Programme, and our flagship startup initiative, The Accelerator.

Our students have created exceptional, innovative solutions that meaningfully impact people’s lives. To date, the Accelerator has provided comprehensive support through expert-led masterclasses, extensive pitching opportunities, and personalised coaching to more than 100 founders, including Monash students, staff, and alumni, enhancing their knowledge, skills, networks, and confidence when scaling their startups.

Monash University is well-known as a pioneer in promoting and supporting creativity and innovation. What can it do to support Vietnamese startups?

Monash University's reputation positions us well to support Vietnamese startups in their journey towards success. We have many startup-focused programmes and courses to train and help them achieve significant and sustainable growth for their business.

Over the past five years, Monash University has created 561 invention disclosures and 213 new patent families, completed 165 licensed deals, and established 26 new companies based on Monash-owned intellectual property.

The Generator is Monash University's central startup hub, which offers programmes and resources to aid startups in creating lasting value. Meanwhile, The Accelerator is our advanced programme, connecting founders with experts from the Australian startup ecosystem.

Monash is committed to driving commercialisation and transforming bold ideas into impactful solutions. The $100 million Breakthrough Victoria University Innovation Platform, which Monash partners, aims to increase the commercialisation of critical analysis with real-world benefits.

Monash University is also a partner of the Monash Technology Precinct, which is the largest employment and innovation cluster outside of Melbourne’s Central Business District – contributing $9.5 billion into the Australian economy each year and 95,000 jobs.

It is home to 13,000 businesses, including leading research and investment companies from Australia and around the world, such as CSIRO, ANSTO Australian Synchrotron, Monash Health, Victorian Heart Hospital, Moderna, Agilent, Bosch, Telstra, and more.

Monash University helps Vietnamese startups unlock their potential
Monash Technology Precinct

What do you think about Vietnamese startups and their growth potential in Australia and in other parts of the world?

Vietnam's startup ecosystem has been evolving rapidly, with government and private sector support, especially in terms of technology. In Southeast Asia, Vietnamese startups benefit from their strategic location, granting them easy access to neighbouring markets like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia, which then serve as a gateway for global expansion.

Monash University has a significant footprint in Asia and Southeast Asia, including campuses in Malaysia and Indonesia, and collaborative agreements with Vietnamese universities.

Vietnam's high digital adoption rates, particularly among its youthful population, provide a strong domestic market for tech startups. This local demand is a valuable testing ground before venturing out internationally. Vietnamese startups hold substantial growth potential in Australia and globally, driven by innovation, cost benefits, and regional accessibility.

Monash is honoured to host Vietnamese entrepreneurs in Australia to learn about operational management processes, equipment, tools, and the latest research from Australia for creating a global footprint.

How do you think TECHFEST 2023 inspires Monash University’s students to innovate and transform at a time when technology is constantly evolving?

It is vital that Monash graduates have the knowledge, skills, and experience to join the labour market. This is a great opportunity for our students to learn, observe, and resolve their questions.

We believe that TECHFEST 2023 has inspired not only our students, but also every participant, to create and innovate their own pathway to having a greater impact on the world.

Vietnam hosts TECHFEST in Australia for first time Vietnam hosts TECHFEST in Australia for first time

Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and Australia’s Monash University organised the first International TECHFEST in Melbourne on September 20, aiming to attract international resources to aid the development of Vietnam’s innovative startup ecosystem.

Techfest Haiphong 2021: Connecting startup ecosystem Techfest Haiphong 2021: Connecting startup ecosystem

Techfest Haiphong 2021 has continued to inspire and motivate the local startup ecosystem for another year while at the same time promoting investment and business connections in this field.

TECHFEST VIETNAM 2022 promotes startup ecosystem TECHFEST VIETNAM 2022 promotes startup ecosystem

A seminar series on technology was held in Binh Duong over the weekend, looking at events related to national innovation.

By Thanh Van

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