Call for Participation (Vietnam 🇻🇳) : Research Sprint “Green Technology, Entrepreneurship & Climate”

08 August 2022

Shape Vietnam’s green tech sector and become part of an academic community that focuses on using the potential of green technologies and entrepreneurship to cope with climate change in the global south.

🕗 Conducting time frame for study: October to November 2022.
⌛ Submission deadline for proposal: Monday, 29 August 2022.

Climate change is a global phenomenon with far-reaching environmental effects such as heatwaves, melting polar ice and declining biodiversity. Depending on where people live, they will experience climate change differently. Like many countries in the global south with low-lying coastal regions, Vietnam is threatened by rising sea levels, typhoons and floods that could have disastrous consequences for its ecosystem, economy and the wellbeing of its population (Eckstein et al., 2021; Zimmer et al. 2015). In light of these prospects, policy makers have called for immediate and drastic measures in Vietnam to adapt to climate change by building resiliency and to mitigate climate change by decarbonising the economy (World Bank, 2022).

The deployment of green technologies is central to the measures to mitigate climate change in Vietnam. For example, using sustainable energy sources such as water, wind and solar power could help to decarbonise the energy sector (Nguyen et al., 2021), the expansion of public transport and adoption of electric vehicles could contribute to decarbonising transport, and the institutionalisation of circular economy practices could both reduce emissions and save resources (Chowdhury et al., 2022).

Promoting the development and adoption of green technologies will require considerable efforts not only from both public actors such as governments and state-owned enterprises, but also from private businesses and entrepreneurs (World Bank, 2022). However, the Vietnamese green technology ecosystem currently suffers from a shortage of entrepreneurs and support from companies and investors. This raises a number of questions:

  • What can be done to promote the founding of green technology startups in Vietnam, or in the global south more generally?
  • What obstacles do green technology developers and entrepreneurs currently face, and what factors promote or inhibit investments in green technology startups?

These are just some of the many pressing questions related to the development and adoption of green technologies that we will address in an interdisciplinary research sprint. For our project Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET), we are now inviting applications from researchers with diverse academic backgrounds interested in taking part in the


Research Sprint on “Green Technology, Entrepreneurship & Climate” 
taking place virtually from 24 October – 30 November 2022,
with a closing week onsite in Vietnam, starting on 23 November 2022.


The project’s main partners are the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Digital Transformation Center Vietnam and the Digital Transformation Center Mexico.


About the research sprint

The long term goal of the research sprint is to help promote green technology startups in Vietnam and in the global south more generally. Therefore, the research sprint will focus on exploring the reasons behind two persistent challenges in the Vietnamese green technology ecosystem: the shortage of aspiring entrepreneurs and the lack of investments.

To enable the researchers to conduct an in-depth analysis of these challenges and develop actionable knowledge, participants in the research sprint will be divided into several teams. One team will explore the motives driving aspiring green technology entrepreneurs and the obstacles they face. A second team will study the factors that encourage or inhibit companies and investors who wish to support green technology startups. Moreover, depending on the researchers’ backgrounds and interests, there could be an additional team studying green technology entrepreneurship in a different country in the global south such as Mexico. The focus of the sprint will be on green technology startups that develop solutions for the energy sector or help to promote the shift towards a circular economy. However, the teams could also decide to focus on the agriculture or mobility sectors.

Throughout the sprint, the teams will analyse existing data, documents and studies and potentially conduct additional primary data collection. Data access will be facilitated by the Digital Transformation Center Vietnam. The teams will receive guidance and input from HIIG researchers on topics such as digital entrepreneurship and sustainability as well as on how to increase the impact of their research.

Towards the end of the research sprint, the teams will write a policy brief to provide guidance to policy makers on how to promote green technology entrepreneurship and investment. Moreover, the findings of the research sprint will be integrated into local activities of the Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Global Digital Transformation (SET) project, including multi-stakeholder dialogues and public events in Vietnam, Indonesia and Mexico. For example, the key findings of the research sprint will be presented during the Green Economy Forum & Exhibition 2022 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 30 November 2022.

Goals of the research sprint

  • Identifying the reasons for (1) the shortage of aspiring entrepreneurs and (2) the shortage of investments in the green technology sector.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship in the green tech ecosystem by creating actionable knowledge and guidance for businesses, entrepreneurs and policy makers in Vietnam.
  • Connecting researchers interested in promoting green technology startups in the global south and fostering the impact of their research.
  • Enabling knowledge transfer between countries in the global south that are especially affected by climate change and focusing on green technologies to improve mitigation of risks.

What we offer 

  • A unique opportunity to participate in a focused research activity and to conduct cutting-edge interdisciplinary research with outstanding international colleagues.
  • International visibility and collaboration with HIIG as well as with our partners GIZ and the Digital Transformation Center in Vietnam.
  • Support and guidance from a dedicated team of experienced researchers at HIIG and beyond.
  • A joint publication or other forms of output – the means of delivery will be determined by the respective research teams.
  • The opportunity to become part of an interdisciplinary community of researchers dedicated to promoting green tech entrepreneurship in the global south, drawing on international input and expertise.

What we expect

  • Proven interest and relevant experience in the topic of green tech and/or entrepreneurship,
  • Appropriate academic qualifications,
  • Fluency in English
  • Commitment to take part in regular virtual sessions: estimated amount of time required ideally is 10 to 15 hours a week, depending on your capacities. The schedule will be determined in consultation with the participants.
  • Motivation to produce research outputs within the period of the sprint and to contribute to a joint publication or alternative research output.

Things to consider

The sprint will be offered virtually. Participants in the research sprint have the opportunity to participate in a closing week and in the Green Economy Forum & Exhibition 2022 in Vietnam, if they meet the requirements according to the current travel restrictions in Vietnam. There is a travel fund that will allow us to refund a limited amount of travel expenses.

Time Frame: The sprint will take place from 24 October–30 November 2022

Financial Issues: Travel costs to non-virtual events can be covered in consultation with HIIG, depending on individual location, circumstances and needs.

Application process: To apply, please use the form below. The call for applications will be open until 29 August. Fellows will be notified of their application status by 12 September.

Application documents

  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae in English
  • Motivation letter (1 page in English), containing an explanation of your interest in the research sprint, your research background and your expectations, as well as a quick outline of what aspect of the intersection of green technologies, entrepreneurship and climate you find especially interesting and relevant to address. Specifically, please indicate which sector you would like to focus on during the research sprint (e.g. agriculture, energy, manufacturing, transport).
  • Optional: academic certificates/letters of recommendation
  • Optional: one writing or work sample covering the topic (in English)

In your application, please mention if you plan to take part in the closing week on-site in Vietnam so we can plan accordingly. This is not a criterion for the selection process, but it is essential information for the organisers of the sprint. We are looking forward to your applications.

For any questions, please contact

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