Round 1 Grant Recipients

Congratulations to the Aus4Innovation Partnership Grant Round 1 recipients

The first round of grants focussed on developing partnerships between organisations in Australia and Vietnam with no limitation to the project topic. The three funded activities promote innovation in different sectors, and at different levels – introducing technology, growing a production system, and demonstrating an innovation model, and will help tackle and address some of Vietnam’s emerging challenges. Find out more about each of the research projects below.

Project: UTS Rapido Vietnam

Aquaculture is a major export industry for Vietnam, seriously threatened by mass stock mortality due to water pollution and consequent diseases. This problem is particularly serious in Phu Yen. Water pollution is also a big

High-tech sea water monitoring system in Phu Yen province. Photo: UTS Rapido Vietnam

High-tech sea water monitoring system in Phu Yen province. Photo credit: UTS Rapido Vietnam

health problem in the Red River Delta, where millions of people still do not have access to safe drinking water, often due to contamination by arsenic and ammonia. UTS Rapido is a proven model of technology transfer that can be tailored to the Vietnamese context. It uses advanced engineering and IT approaches to solve technology challenges, leveraging UTS resources and knowledge. The application of IoT platforms in water system management in these regional and remote communities will serve as a model for uptake across the country, with the support of local government.

Project: Sea Cucumbers

Sea cucumbers are important both ecologically and economically throughout much of the world, with a market value from AUD$20-500 per dried kilogram. It is believed to provide nutrients that can help cure cancers, increase libido and delay aging processes. Unfortunately, as a result of this, wild ocean sea cucumbers have been severely overfished worldwide and are rapidly becoming endangered and there is now an urgent need to develop their aquaculture so that markets can keep up with demand and wild ocean populations can rebuild.

Duy, one of the researchers with a sea cucumber

Duy, one of the researchers with a sea cucumber

The project team researchers have recently discovered a sea cucumber hormone that can overcome reproductive dysfunction. Reproduction hormone therapy is a proven technology in many animals, including humans, but has never been undertaken in sea cucumbers. The discovery of the sea cucumber relaxin hormone, and its production through biotechnology methods, provides a key innovative breakthrough towards enhancing sea cucumber aquaculture.

Project: Vietrad

Woman receiving a mammogram

Woman receiving a mammogram. Photo credit: Unsplash

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Vietnamese women with over 10,000 new cases diagnosed annually, with most patients presenting with late stages making the treatment more difficult with low survival. Early cancer detection depends on accurate interpretation of breast images by radiologists and this is essential to improving treatment efficacy and patient prognosis. However, data showed that Vietnamese radiologists displayed low diagnostic efficacy in detecting abnormalities on mammograms with sensitivity values below 50% compared with 85% among Australian radiologists.

Vietrad’s novel image approach, Breastscreen REader Assessment STrategy (BREAST), is used by BreastScreen services in Australia and New Zealand as an official training tool to optimise cancer detection. To date, Vietrad has transformed radiologists’ performance in breast cancer detection on mammograms with improvements of over 30% among radiologists. This project will introduce, implement, and validate VIETRAD, a BREAST – type platform tailored for Vietnamese clinicians using high quality Australian and Vietnamese breast images.

VM Duy