Vietnam is one of the five countries in the world that produces the most plastic waste. The topic of plastic waste on the oceans has recently gained considerable attention – and also played an important role in the science slam “Falling Walls Lab Vietnam”.

On May 25, the DAAD organized a Falling Walls Science Slam in Vietnam for the first time. Thirty candidates from North and South Vietnam, a pleasingly large number, had registered and were invited to present their projects in one-minute videos. After this pre-selection, ten candidates finally took part in the Falling Walls Lab at the Vietnamese-German Centre at the Hanoi University of Science & Technology, presenting their ideas and projects to the six-member jury and around 50 visitors in a maximum of three minutes.

The candidates presented their new ideas and research projects, such as a treatment proposal for depression, an idea for more effective cancer treatment, an automated transport system for car tires or an innovative economic cycle at a university.

The jury had to rate the presentations, which ended very strictly after three minutes, according to three criteria: innovation, impact and quality of the presentation. They came to a clear conclusion: Ms. Vo Quoc Thao NGUYEN from Saigon clearly prevailed with her topic “Breaking the Wall of Plastic Straw”. Her idea: Instead of plastic straws, it is better to use environmentally friendly natural straws from a particular grass, which is abundant in the Mekong Delta. This would also create jobs in the Mekong Delta.

Ms. Nguyen will now travel to Berlin for the international Falling Walls Lab in November to represent the colours of Vietnam with her idea. In addition, she also received the EURAXESS prize of 600 Euro to visit a research lab or university in any of the 28 member countries of the European Union. We wish her best of success!