BUILD-IT alliance launches second Maker Innovation Space in Vietnam

Building off the success of its first Maker Innovation Space in Ho Chi Minh City, the USAID Building University-Industry Learning and Development through Innovation and Technology Alliance, better known as the BUILD-IT Alliance, has launched a second makerspace in Danang, Vietnam.

The new Maker Innovation Space at the University of Danang was opened on August 11 and will help students gain skills to launch and test new technologies and innovative solutions to community development challenges. These spaces enable students to design, prototype and create manufactured projects.               


Above: From left: Samuel Harris, Education Program manager, Amazon AWS;
Thai Ba Canh, director, Danang City Department of Science and Technology;
Jeffrey Goss, associate vice provost for Southeast Asia Programs at ASU
and executive director of Global Outreach and Extended Education; Bruce Newton,
vice president of Worldwide Human Resources, eSilicon; Guyen Thi Thanh Thanh,
event interpreter and lecturer of English at University of Danang; Le Thi Uyen,
event emcee and Da Nang University of Education student, Associate Professor Doan
Quang Vinh, vice president, University of Danang at the opening of the Maker Innovation
Space in Danang. Photographer: Hoang Tang Kim Nam Phuong

Students will be able to translate the 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.

The BUILD-IT Alliance is a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented by ASU. It is designed to help Vietnam modernize its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics higher education system.

In June, the BUILD-IT Alliance launched its first Maker Innovation Space in Ho Chi Minh City and selected Danang for its second facility based on the city’s reputation for innovation and the strength of its partners there. Both the University of Danang and Danang University of Science and Technology invested considerable effort, expertise and resources in the new Maker Innovation Space.

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.               


Students showing Craig Hart (in gray suit) some of the capabilities of the new Maker Innovation
Space in Danang. Photographer: Hoang Tang Kim Nam Phuong

“I know this Maker Space will quickly become a place of collaboration, ideas and experimentation,” says Hart. “What I also expect, though, is that Vietnam’s inventors and technology leaders of the future will come out of the Maker Movement.”

ASU has been an active part of recent STEM innovation initiatives in Vietnam, including the 2017 STEM Conference hosted by Arizona State University’s Higher Engineering Education Alliance Program and BUILD-IT, the Women in STEM Leadership Program, the Vietnam Engineering Education Conference. The university invited Vietnamese faculty to campus to learn more about the emerging field of internet of things with Intel.