In the second article in the Talk Nanotech special series, we have a guest article by Shalini Dharmawardena, Senior Economist (Economic Research Department) – Central Bank of Sri Lanka. She argues that the industrial thrust, budgetary allocations, commitment of financial institutions, education policy, and private sector enthusiasm will be the key success factors in achieving a competitive edge for Sri Lanka in the international nanotechnology arena. She emphasises that collaboration is essential, with a synergy of state allocated funds, private sector participation, expatriate scientists contribution, and the financial sector involvement.
Sri Lanka banned the imports of Genetically Modified (GM) food in 2001, becoming the first country in the world to do so. However, in 2006, the government passed an Extra-Ordinary Gazette to the Food Act of 1980, allowing GM food importation and in 2011 the government passed a National Policy on Biosafety which covers the import of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), i.e., GM food or GM crops. But do we really know what is and isn’t GM? Should we be worried? How important is the GMO issue for Sri Lanka? This article attempts to answer these questions by discussing the present scenario of GMOs in Sri Lanka in the global context. Author Dilani Hirimuthugodage argues that neither the full-scale adoption nor the full-scale rejection of GMOs is a viable option.
The Narrow Human Resource Base in Science and Technology Could Constrain Sri Lanka’s Knowledge Economy Ambitions
Around the world, knowledge and innovation have become the drivers of global competitiveness. Countries are competing with each other to invest more on Research and Development (R&D) to help create more novel technologies to gain comparative advantages in knowledge. Workers in Science and Technology (S&T) are a key element of this. Towards understanding Sri Lanka’s development prospects from a human resource perspective, this article hopes to define and quantify the S&T human resources in the country and assess the quality of the S&T workers for their innovative potential.
In our first article in the new series ‘Talk Nanotech’, nanotechnology evangelist and former head of SLINTEC, Prof. Ajith De Alwis, discusses Sri Lanka’s National Nanotechnology Initiative in the context of the economy’s drive to become more innovative and competitive, and warns that lack of commitment could derail the valuable gains made so far. He calls for a focussed thrust on developing Sri Lanka’s nanotechnology potential, with strong political leadership.
> By Anushka Wijesinha, Research Economist – IPS Innovation is beyond research, it requires clever commercialization Sri Lanka needs to take a 360 degree approach to innovation policy As Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs bids adieu to an ipod/iphone/ipad/macbook crazed world, …