HANOI, Jun 24, 2019 — The Vietnam Climate Innovation Center (VCIC) today honored leading Vietnamese start-up businesses taking innovative approaches to addressing climate-related challenges in Vietnam.

The event was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam; Mr. Tran Van Tung – Vice Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST); Mr. Ousmane Dione - World Bank Country Director for Vietnam; Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation, Australian Embassy in Vietnam; Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha – Chairwoman of Vietnam Women's Union, representatives of international organizations, startups and the business community in Vietnam.

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Overall of the Award Ceremony

At the awards ceremony, 16 projects with stand out proposals and ideas for innovative initiatives to respond to climate change challenges in Vietnam were honored and awarded. They were selected by VCIC on the basis of an independent selection panel’s recommendations and consent from the World Bank and MOST. The total budget for supporting these projects is up to USD 647.000 from a grant supported by the World Bank with financial assistance from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). In addition to receiving financial support, these project holders will gain access to all VCIC consulting services and business development support including training, mentoring, connecting with start-up supporting networks and investors, expert and partner networks as well as facilities.

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 Deputy Minister Vu Duc Dam presented a special award named Pioneer Award

In the opening speech of the awards ceremony, Vice Minister Tran Van Tung said: “The MOST highly appreciates the efforts of VCIC and businesses in developing innovative solutions to turn the challenges of climate change into business opportunities. The VCIC model helps address corporate challenges, reduces emissions and improves climate resilience, while creating more jobs and improving regional competitiveness”.

Over the past three years, VCIC has organized two Proof of Concept (POC) Competition with 32 winners. At this ceremony, the businesses having matured from the previous POC by VCIC received their graduation certificates. These businesses, with support from VCIC, have proved their growth, maturity and readiness to approach new markets.

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Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Union Nguyen Thi Thu Ha,and Vice Minister of MOST Tran Van Tung presented Innovative Award to enterprises

“Addressing serious challenges, like climate change, requires fresh innovative ideas and creative thinking,” said Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam. “We are continuously looking for ways to help the country address this challenge, from policy advice to specific projects and program, coordinate and leverage financing along with new technologies - VCIC stands out in this regard”.

VCIC is part of the World Bank Group’s Climate Technology Program, a global network of innovation centers in 11 countries, that also provides a platform to create national and international business-to-business linkages, enhance knowledge sharing, and facilitate trade.
The winners of this year’s competition as well as entrepreneurs graduating from the previous competitions now have important roles to play as pathfinders for the country’s fledgling clean-tech and environmentally-friendly industries by proving the positive economic, social and environmental impacts of their innovations and business plans.
Congratulating the businesses and individuals participating in this year’s competition, Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation, Australian Embassy in Vietnam said: “Supporting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment has been a vibrant part of our partnership with Vietnam. With this POC3, we are very pleased to support women-led enterprises to find innovative ways to address climate challenges, turn them into business opportunities, create jobs, and drive economic growth in Vietnam.”

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Mr. Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam and Mr. Justin Baguley, Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation, Australian Embassy in Vietnam presented Challenging Award to enterprises

Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Women's Union, said: “This is a very meaningful competition. I appreciate the role and capacity of women in innovation for green and sustainable development. Entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, have come up with innovative solutions responding to climate change, creating economic value, positively impacting on Vietnam’s environment and society”.
Accompanying this event, the exhibition "Green Start-up Aspiration" was held. It presented an overview of the competition with 22 exhibits of innovative products/services from POC1, POC2 and POC3 projects to showcase and encourage climate innovation in all areas of life.

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Leaders at the showcase Aspiration to start a green business