As one of the five countries most vulnerable to climate change globally, Vietnam is on the frontline of efforts to provide answers to the climate question.
Today, there is a growing realization that the private sector will play a central role in climate responses, with the government now viewing clean technologies as key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In this spirit of turning climate challenges into opportunities for growth, the Vietnam Climate Innovation Center (VCIC) is at the heart of a green revolution creating an enabling environment for local clean-tech enterprises to catalyze innovative technology for green and sustainable development.

Ten Innovation Design co-founder Tien Nguyen showcases a product at ICT Comm 2018

This innovative business center, part of a global network across seven countries under the World Bank Group’s Climate Technology Program and supported by the governments of Australia and the United Kingdom, is breaking new ground in Vietnam by providing financing, mentorship and advisory services to climate change-related business.

Ten Innovation Design’s specialized equipment helps to track water quality

Ten Innovation Design is one such enterprise spearheading a new generation of Vietnamese entrepreneurs in this dynamic and high potential area of business innovation.
As one of 32 enterprises that has received financial and advisory support since VCIC opened its doors two years ago, it has turned ambition into reality with its innovative supply chain solution for shrimp farming in Vietnam. In just a year, its ‘Smart Pond Control System’ transformed from an idea on paper to receiving USD 995,000 in funding to develop and commercialize.

The trio of local IT and financial entrepreneurs behind Ten Innovation Design (Tuan Le, Tien Nguyen and Anh Nguyen), successfully pitched their smart technology business initiative to VCIC during its second proof of concept (PoC) contest in mid-2017. As one of 15 winning entries selected by VCIC from a field of more than 300 submitted nationwide, they received a kick-start grant of USD 50,000 and much needed capacity building and mentoring encompassing marketing, technology and fund raising to drive the firm and its products towards market entry in 2019. Shortly after enrolling in the VCIC incubation process, they set up Ten Innovation Design Ltd. to formalize their business.

Ten Innovation Design team members launch their equipment at a shrimp farm

With VCIC’s support, Ten Innovation Design perfected its user-friendly technology, underpinned by use of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things, to streamline and protect outdoor shrimp farming at the mercy of climate change-driven severe weather events in Vietnam which degrade product quality and yield. This high-tech approach to shrimp farming - with the use of smart platforms and semi-autonomous sensors that regulate water flows, feeding patterns and pond habitats - increases climate resilience through higher survival rates, better product quality and energy savings that translate into increased farmer profits.

Investors have been quick to identify the potential of the concept and Ten Innovation Design, with USD 645,000 received from a private equity fund in Vietnam and USD 350,000 under negotiation with Dutch investors for further refinement of the business model and technology.

“VCIC has accompanied us on our journey and made a great contribution to our fund-raising success through its marketing support and connecting us with investors as well as refining our business development strategies,” said Tuan Le, Ten Innovation Design’s CEO.

With shrimp farming and aquaculture increasingly vulnerable to climate change impacts, Tuan Le said the ‘Smart Pond System’ initiative had a key role to play in enhancing the climate resilience of Vietnam’s and Asia’s aquaculture sectors.

Already, initial trials in the Mekong Delta’s Soc Trang province have shown this ‘Smart Pond Control System’ technology can increase shrimp survival rates from less than 50 per cent to 80 per cent annually, heighten product quality and importantly save more than 30 per cent in production energy.

As such, Ten Innovation Design has set an ambitious goal of being one of the leading companies in this area in Southeast Asia by 2023 with 5,700 systems in operation.

This fledgling company’s regional ambitions also underline VCIC’s effectiveness as an incubator and accelerator of domestic entrepreneurship, innovation and green growth.

For Vietnam to achieve its goal of 50 per cent of enterprises applying green production techniques by 2020, the World Bank Group estimates the country’s clean technology market will need up to USD 19 billion in investment.
This means local entrepreneurs such as Tuan Le, Tien Nguyen and Anh Nguyen at Ten Innovation Design will increasingly take centre stage in developing innovative technologies and business models in climate technology-related areas to support Vietnam’s economic development, job creation and industrial competitiveness.