During the French Prime Minister’s official visit to Vietnam, 2 to 4 November, CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall signed three agreements to step up French-Vietnamese space cooperation. CNES had previously signed a framework agreement with the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) during the French President’s state visit to Vietnam in 2016.
First, a letter of intent on the role of space in climate research was signed with Professor Chau Van Minh, President of VAST. CNES and VAST are thus putting on a formal footing their joint commitment to step up their cooperation in this domain through the Space Climate Observatory (SCO) launched at the One Planet Summit in Paris in December 2017. Closer collaboration between French and Vietnamese research teams will also be encouraged to deliver better results.
Second, the CNES President and Assoc. Prof. Dinh Thi Mai Thanh, Vice Rector of the University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH) signed a document extending for a further three years the memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 to collaborate in the area of higher education, particularly to train Vietnamese students. This memorandum has enabled CNES engineers to contribute to courses on satellite technologies for students at USTH and offer internships with the agency to Vietnamese students.
And third, an agreement was signed to set up an international research laboratory called LOTUS (Land Ocean aTmosphere coUpled System) through an institutional partnership between a panel of French scientific organizations and four Vietnamese institutes: USTH, the Institute of Marine Environment and Resources (IMER), the Space Technology Institute (STI) and the Institute of Oceanography (IO). CNES will be involved in this initiative through its contribution to the science project led by the LEGOS space geophysics and oceanography research laboratory.
After this visit, Jean-Yves Le Gall commented: “The Prime Minister’s official visit to Vietnam has strengthened the space cooperation between our two nations in the areas of climate research and undergraduate training. Vietnam has trusted France for many years for its space programme: its two telecommunication satellites were orbited by Ariane 5 launchers and its Earth observation satellite was built in France and launched from the Guiana Space Centre. These latest agreements build on these previous achievements and lay a foundation for the successes ahead.”
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