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|Vietnam possessing advantage in AI field, illustration photo|
South Korea’s Naver Corporation and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (HUST) - Vietnam’s leading research university - in late March launched the AI International Research Centre under the Symposium on Information and Communication Technology, marking the first Southeast Asian AI research centre in Hanoi. Accordingly, the two parties will together build and operate the centre with the purpose to deeply research and train a high-quality labour force in terms of AI.
Along with implementing a search to create core “Make in Vietnam” technology, the centre will also focus on developing AI applications for different sectors and industries in order to promote Vietnam’s digital transformation and the Industry 4.0 process. The deal between Naver and HUST are motivation for South Korean enterprises in the AI sector arrive to Vietnam to expand their operation in the context the country’s demand on developing the AI sector is also increasing.
Vietnam has seen increase in such investment inflow from South Korea as well as other countries under deals between domestic and foreign investors. Notably in March 2020, Samsung officially kicked off construction of the largest research and development (R&D) facility in Vietnam.
The new centre will become the largest for the tech giant in all of Southeast Asia, becoming a leader towards researching, deploying, and applying new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In addition, the centre will also be a place to train high-tech human resources and especially technologies such as AI and big data.
Jeong Sam Yong, general director of Samsung SDS Vietnam, said that the group is interested in joining Vietnam’s digital transformation process, and that becoming the strategic shareholder in domestic tech group CMC Corporation is a bold example.
“Samsung is assisting Vietnam in implementing IT solutions and applying management software in production operations. In addition, the group supports telecommunications and system integration solutions,” Yong said. “In the future, the group will promote the construction of smart cities and smart buildings thanks to Internet of Things (IoT) applications, cloud computing, and AI in Vietnam.”
A year ago FPT Corporation signed an MoU with Hancom Corporation, the largest productivity software manufacturer in South Korea. The two parties will work together to develop six sectors: office software for the Vietnamese market, smart cities, AI, IoT, education, and self-driving vehicles.
Around the same time, VinAI Research, VinGroup’s AI research arm, announced addition of a cutting-edge supercomputer to its AI computing platform. The machine, a 5-petaflop accelerated data centre in a box, is the first deployment of such a system in Southeast Asia.
Numerous large international groups are also investing for R&D activities in Vietnam along with their operational activity. German technology giant Bosch already boasts two R&D centres in Ho Chi Minh City.
These investments are playing a major role in Vietnam’s goal of nurturing its high-tech sector and becoming an AI research and development leader by 2030 as similar as the target mentioned in the national strategy on R&D and application of AI approved by then-Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month.
The strategy outlines that by 2025, Vietnam is to become a centre for innovation, as well as development of AI solutions and applications. The country will establish two national innovation centres for AI and simultaneously increase the number of innovative related startups and total investment in the sector. In addition, Vietnam is also focused on upgrading and forming 10 new key research and training institutions on AI. As per the strategy, Vietnam expects to rank among the top four countries in ASEAN and in the top 50 worldwide in R&D and application of AI by the end of the decade. The country has plans to set up 10 renowned AI centres as well as develop three national centres for big data storage and high-performance computing, connecting domestic data centres and high-performance computing centres to create a shared network.
In order to realise the targets, the government has asked to “allocate resources on developing essential AI products and services that Vietnam possesses a competitive advantage in; and strategise key investments in AI application in fields related to national defence and security, natural resources and environmental management, and public services. Besides this, it is necessary to vigorously develop AI application enterprises and AI startups,” the strategy noted.
Developing AI is also a part of the economic target by 2030 as defined by the 13th National Party Congress. Vietnam determines that the rapid and sustainable development on the basis of science, technology, innovation, and digital transformation is one of three key elements in the country’s development strategy.
Choi In Hyuk, COO of Naver said, “Naver has been impressed with Vietnam’s growth in the science-technology sector in recent years and we see that it has potential to expand AI personnel training.”