President Mahinda Rajapaksa opened Sri Lanka’s first ever Nanotechnology and Science Park (NSP) and Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence in Homagama on 21, October 2013 at Pitipana, Homagama, marking a milestone in the national strategy that envisions taking Sri Lanka towards upper middle income country status.
The Sri Lankan economy is one step closer to joining the technological revolution taking place in the rest of the world, President Rajapaksa said, as he inaugurated the centre. He said the facility marked an important milestone in taking Sri Lanka towards becoming Asia’s ‘Knowledge Hub’ and an opportunity to serve the country’s future generations. NSP provides for the creation of an environment and systems which will deliver a unique transformation towards wealth creation through advancement in science and technology whilst offering significant opportunities to nurture young entrepreneurs in the pursuit of scientific discovery.
Minister of Science and Technology Champika Ranawaka said the new Nanotechnology Park provided a great opportunity to make the leap into the technology age. “In terms of technology and in terms of resources, Sri Lanka was ahead of Asia 250 years ago,” the Minister said. This changed when the industrial revolution happened and the advantage shifted to Europe, he said. “Today marks the beginning of a new industrial revolution,” the Minister said at the opening. “This new revolution involves innovations, creativity and new inventions,” he said. Nanotechnology has a direct impact on developing a knowledge economy, Minister Ranawaka said. He said the new Nano Technology Centre for Excellence would be a great impetus for small and medium sized enterprises. The Minister said the new centre was a successful collaboration between the Government and private sectors. The Government has invested more than Rs. 2 billion while six private companies have cumulatively invested Rs. 310 million. The establishment of the NSP is an outcome of Sri Lanka’s Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), which seeks to contribute towards knowledge-based economy. NSP is an initiative of SLINTEC, a public-private partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and five private companies, namely, Brandix, Dialog, Hayleys, Loadstar and MAS Holdings. A 6th equity partner Lankem has joined as of September 2013. Its mandate is to add value to the Sri Lankan industries by helping them to contribute to the GDP through innovations in nanotechnology and advanced technologies. Senior Minister Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Deputy Minister of Civil Aviation Geethanjana Gunewardane, Secretary to the Ministry of Science and Technology Ms. Dhara Wijethillake, Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) Deshamanya Dr. Mahesh Amalean, Chief Executive Officer Mr. Harin de Silva Wijeyeratne and several other officials from the Government and private sector participated in the opening ceremony.