Big Data Institute to build elite team of researchers

VietNamNet Bridge - Four months after taking office as scientific director of the Big Data Institute of Vingroup, Prof Vu Ha Van recently spoke with VietNamNet about its plans. 


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Prof Vu Ha Van




Van said the institute decided to invest in two long-term research programs, including Vietnamese gene decoding with 1,000 samples and AI in medical images (analyzing images to diagnose cancer, for example). 

Ten permanent researchers for the two programs have been recruited. The institute includes collaborators from the US, including young scientists who are considering returning to Vietnam. Two international workshops were organized in December 2018.

Regarding the Science and Technology Development Fund, of which Van is also the scientific director, he said letters of invitation have been sent to 54 universities in Vietnam. The fund will receive proposals for consideration in the first half of 2019.

Could you please tell us what kinds of projects the fund targets and how the support policy will work?

We target projects in high technologies related to Big Data.

Instead of dividing money equally among many projects, we will focus our support on the best ones. We strive to build an elite team of researchers, but we are not trying to increase the number of researchers.

Regarding funding, there won’t be fixed spending every year. The spending will be different, depending on the number of projects. I still don’t know how much money the fund will spend in the first year. 

There also won’t be a ceiling of funding for projects. The amount of money to be disbursed will depend on the quality and significance of projects.

Once projects receive scientific approval, we will try our best to support researchers and satisfy reasonable financial requirements from researchers. We don’t necessarily follow the state’s sponsoring mechanism.

When you became the director of the fund, you said you wanted to create a good research environment for universities. Could you please elaborate on this?

We hope that with the investments, the fund will build a good working environment for excellent research teams.

Imagine that these are little chips that will flare up when they encounter favorable conditions. A research work may only influence a certain number of people, but a research style will affect an entire generation.

It seems that the requirements set by the fund are very strict. Can you think of a scenario in which no project would receive approval in the first campaign?

I don’t think we will not choose any project because I am sure there are very excellent research teams in Vietnam which are very close to international standards.


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Ha An

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