Interview series

Sunstar is a private pharmaceutical company in Hanoi. It supported the development and production of a SARS-CoV-2 test kit initiated by an academic in a public university. This story highlights the private sector's dynamism and the importance of public-private partnership.

Mr. Hoang Tuan Anh is the CEO of Blue Universe, a distributor of electronic doorlocks in Saigon. He developed and built automatic rice dispensing machines, which he called rice ATMs, by combining technologies from his electronic doorlocks. The ATMs had dispensed 10 000 tonnes of rice by November 2020. Mr. Hoang also built facemask ATMs. This story highlights the dynamism and resourcefulness of private innovators, and the potential of asynchronous innovations. 

One Egg a Day is a community-based charity in Hanoi, led by practicing doctors. It distributed meals and essentials for the homeless during nation-wide lockdowns, and assisted the marginalised in recovering from the pandemic. This story highlights the importance of civil society, social media and expertise in charity work.

Ida Uusikylä and Phan Hoang Lan are innovation experts at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam. They have been involved in multi-level initiatives to promote and disseminate innovations in Vietnam during the Covid-19 pandemic. Their story highlights the role of supranational actors and their networking with local innovators in promoting inclusive innovation.

Mr. Kao Sieu Luc is a famous baker in Saigon who has been in business for 37 years. Early 2020, Mr. Kao invented the dragon-fruit bread to help farmers who could not export due to travel restrictions. He shared his recipe publicly, leading to a nation-wide movement. His story highlights the importance of civil society and the resourcefulness of private innovators.