Innovation contest doubles prize money

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An annual competition on innovation held by the World Bank in Vietnam and the Ministry of Planning and Investment will offer more than VND7 billion (US$335,409) in prizes this year.


The Vietnam Innovation Day, launched Tuesday, will grant VND600,000,000 (nearly US$30,000) each for at least 10 projects, double that of previous years, the organizers said in a press release issued Tuesday.


Scheduled to end on May 5, the competition this year looks for initiatives targeting the poor and under-served communities, helping them reduce resource wastage, lower production costs, and improve access to products and services.


It will also include open discussions on the contest's theme, "Innovation for Social Equity and Sustainable Growth".


Since it was first organized in 2003, the competition has had a different theme each year that was mainly identified in accordance with public interest and the country's focus and priorities mentioned in the government's development agenda like fighting HIV/AIDS, and improving traffic safety.


So far it has received nearly 1,600 entries nationwide and awarded over $2.4 million to 231 winning projects.


International agencies like the UK Department for International Development, and the US Agency for International Development have supported the competition.

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