The Institute of International Forestry and Forest Products received a 60,000 EURO grant to prepare over six months a large collaborative bamboo research & development (R & D) project with Vietnamese and German partners from research and state institutions, as well as the private sector. The funds are provided by the German the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework program “Research for Sustainable Development (FONA)”. Through this match-making, sustainable innovations shall be introduced, benefitting Vietnamese and German private enterprises involved in the bamboo sector.
Prof. Kapp visited Vietnamese partners for a week in March before the start of the preparation (“definition”) project. The aim was to organize relevant actors of bamboo growing systems and the bamboo value chain in Participatory Innovation Platforms (PIPs) in which the structure of the proposed R&D project will be defined by identifying entry points for innovations. This includes the elaboration of a proposal to apply for the collaborative R&D project.
In Hanoi and neighboring provinces, Thanh Hoa and Thai Nguyen, the mission met with eight private bamboo enterprises, a bamboo farmer, WWF Vietnam, GIZ, universities and faculties (IMARD, VNUF, Thai Nguyen University, and Bac Gian Agricultural and Forestry University), Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences, Vietnamese State Agencies (like the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)) and from the provincial level of Thanh Hoa and Ha Tinh.
During the visits the purpose of the project and further planning was discussed. The colleagues from the Institute of Management for Agriculture and Rural Development (IMARD), notably Assoc. Prof. Do Anh Tuan, confirmed their offer to host a PIP workshop in July. A joint agreement was reached with IMARD, MARD and Vietnam National University of Forestry (VNUF) on a modified structure of the workshop. Both MARD and VNUF confirmed their full support of the project. The Vice-Director of International Cooperation Division of VNUF, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Xuan Phuong, kindly accepted to become co-supervisor of Mr. Malte Sass, a Master student of TUD in Wood Sciences, and Mr. Tran Van Hiep, a PhD-student of Prof. Pretzsch at our institute, will scientifically accompany the research. In Thanh Hoa, a private sector agreement was prepared between a large Vietnamese industry and a German industrialist to cooperate on bamboo production. The joint R&D project proposal will be submitted end of September to both, BMBF and the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST).
By Gerald Kapp