United States Agency for International Development Opens Second Maker Innovation Space in Vietnam

USAID/Vietnam Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart speaks at the event.
USAID/Vietnam Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart speaks at the event.

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 11, 2017

DANANG, August 11, 2017 - Today, in collaboration with Fablab Danang, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University (ASU) and University of Danang launched a Maker Innovation Space. Located in University of Danang, this fully equipped laboratory space will help students gain skills to launch and test new technologies and innovative solutions to community development challenges.

Maker Spaces enable university students to design, prototype, and create manufactured projects. The Danang Maker Innovation Space will have 3-D printers, laser cutters, a wood and metal shop, as well as advanced design software available to all university student members. Students will use the Maker Innovation Space to translate the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics theory they learn in the classroom into prototypes for technological solutions for real-world problems. It is not only an educational facility, but also a solutions and inventions laboratory.

“Technology is changing everything we know...countries and people that embrace innovation are in the driver’s seat. Innovators get to shape these changes,” said USAID Vietnam’s Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart at the launch event. “I know this Maker Space will quickly become a place of collaboration, ideas, and experimentation. What I also expect, though, is that Vietnam’s inventors and technology leaders of the future will come out of the Maker Movement.”

The Maker Innovation Space is a component of the USAID Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology (BUILD-IT) Alliance, a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented by ASU. The BUILD-IT Alliance is designed to help Vietnam modernize its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) higher education system. With more than 16 high-tech industry partners, 16 university partners, and the support of the Ministry of Education and Training and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Alliance is strengthening higher education policy, enabling closer university-private sector collaboration, and modernizing Vietnam’s academic programs in STEM fields.

In June, USAID BUILD-IT launched its first Maker Innovation Space in Ho Chi Minh City’s Saigon Hi-Tech Park and selected Danang for its second facility based on the city’s reputation for innovation and the strength of its partners here.

The University of Danang and Danang University of Science and Technology invested considerable effort, expertise and resources in the new Maker Innovation Space. In addition, Fablab Danang was critical in helping to establish this venture. Fablab Danang is a community co-working space that is part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s global Fablab network and a natural fit.

With the introduction of Maker Spaces around the country, USAID aims to help coming generations of university graduates lead inclusive, technology-based growth, which fits squarely into Vietnam’s ongoing effort to revolutionize its economy under the Vietnam 2035 strategy.

For photos of the launch, visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm6j9p4M