‘Sri Lanka poised to join South Asia innovation corridor’


Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen (3-L) discusses the Lankan SME way forward march with Deputy Dean of Tokyo's Asian Development Bank Institute Dr Bokhwan Yu (far-right) at the JAIC Hilton Colombo , recently.

In a major development in advancing its national innovation culture to global standards, Sri Lanka voiced its interest to actively join the South Asian regional innovation corridor at a top international innovation confab taking place in Colombo.

The pioneering call by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen was issued during the first ever international innovation forum to be held in Colombo, co-organised by NEDA, COSTI and more importantly, Tokyo based Asian Development Bank Institute.

"Rather than innovating alone as a country, I believe that we can enhance our innovation efforts by joining with the South Asian innovation corridor. India alone is home to research and development centers of more than 300 multinational corporations. Imagine the opportunities for our innovators if we can link with at least two of them! There are huge innovation partnership opportunities in the region" voiced Minister Bathiudeen addressing the first ever international session on SMEs and R&D to be held in Sri Lanka.

The event, co-organised by Minister Bathiudeen's National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA), Sri Lanka's Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI), and Tokyo based Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) packs more than 30 global experts on innovations and SMEs, converging in Colombo to form a blue print for ground-breaking Sri Lankan SME Innovation Accelerator. The proposed accelerator is expected to enable SMEs in R&D and demonstrate new marketable products based on new tech applications. The Colombo sessions are scheduled to conclude on 23 December. Among the experts in Colombo session is a renowned global Economist Dr. Paul Vendenberg (Senior Economist, ADB Institute) who reputed in capacity building and training.

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