After five years of concept development, a project to build the Vietnam-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (V-KIST) in Hanoi has been officially launched.
With the South Korean government contributing half of the project’s total budget of US$70 million, V-KIST is the largest non-refundable project ever given to Vietnam by South Korea.
It aims to foster science and technology cooperation between the two countries, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations.
Chairing the launch ceremony on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam said the idea of V-KIST had been conceived from the Vietnamese government’s realization that changes in policy and management were needed to quickly implement scientific advances in real life.
Through V-KIST, it’s hoped that scientific organizations in Vietnam will be inspired to form research networks that operate under a new model.
V-KIST was conceived in 2012 after a state visit to South Korea by former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The then Vietnamese head of government expressed his wish to establish an institute in Vietnam similar to the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).
Since then, there has been a step-by-step plan for a V-KIST project that would occupy approximately 200,000 square meters in the pre-existing Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park in Hanoi.
Half of the development cost will be funded by the South Korean government to cover infrastructure, equipment, consultancy, and training.
The long-term project will be developed in three stages, with the final stage set to be completed in 2034.
Vietnam aims to turn V-KIST into a leading multidisciplinary research institute in applied sciences and advanced technology and become a driving force for the development of a sustainable economy.
Information technology and biotechnology are the two fields of study that will spearhead the institute’s program of scientific research.
Vietnamese and Korean researchers at V-KIST will enjoy the highest endowments allowed by Vietnamese law, as well as subsidies from the South Korean government.