Technology Development and Innovations Arm

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The Technology Development and Innovations Arm (TDIA) was set up at the National Science Foundation (NSF) due to the urgent need in the economy to address the scientific development pathway to economic prosperity. The government policy is set out in the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor which has to be actioned in a realistic way using the best available capacity that the NSF could harness. In this approach, the NSF is more an Expert Institution rather than a Funding Institution that is investing in the opportunities available in the economy through the PPP (Public-Private Partnerships or Public-Public Partnership) vehicles. This call became necessary since the NSF has to awaken to their immense potential and opportunities in harnessing scientific talents and intellectual asserts at home and abroad, which is particularly important under the new normal. The NSF can address issues in any development domain using the vast repository of intellectual assets, talents and expertise available through its extensive national and global networks. These assets are defined by their high level of qualifications and wide research experience covering a  plethora of scientific domains.

The operational mechanism is by several means.

  1. Seeking proponents with innovations, prototypes, ready for market products, solutions for public goods, or even great ideas that can lead to impactful solutions.
  2. Seeking business proponents or public service organizations who would expect to expand their business, services, and improve on their productivity with solutions to their technology or scientific problems and improving processes.

In both these means, there are many types of opportunities that arise.

  1. A Proponent’s product is pitched to a commercial audience in the relevant segment of the market and seek their engagement through a public-private partnership engagement.
  2. A proponent’s product or a development idea aiming at the public good market is pitched to the relevant regulatory or service organization in the public sector inviting their participation in a Public -Public Partnership.
  3. A commercial organization seeking help to solve their business problems at any slice of the   value chain is addressed with expertise to a timebound solution.
  4. A public sector organization having a problem is addressed with expertise to a time-bound solution.

In providing solutions the NSF engages with the parties, proponents, firms, and researchers (institutions), by engaging in a PPP with legal binding using a multiplicity of documentation including a Business Plan, Non-Disclosure Agreement, MOU, Agreement, etc. The properties of intellectual value will be dealt with due regard to ownership. The proponents will be encouraged and facilitated to obtain property rights wherever needed.

As the project comes out from the research, development, and commercialization events it starts generating income. The NSF’s expertise invested as share capital would have by now grown to a significant level. The NSF decides to leave the PPP and in exiting claims the monetary value of the share capital has now grown to a sizable amount. This approach will enable the NSF to justify the government’s recurrent investment in the organization annually. Usually, the recurrent investment with the project funds is spent annually but the impact is not measured and is not visible. Therefore, the new transformative approach is going to make NSF accountable to the government for its funds and give a better economic value. The function of the TDIA is to facilitate this new process and ensure the value chain from the input logistics, operationalizations, output logistics, marketing, service aspects are all monitored and addressed adequately to drive the success of projects undertaken from any point in the value chain. TDIA is upskilling the NSF staff members to develop the capacity for assessing projects with a business perspective in the scientific and research domains.

Composition of the Technology development and Innovations Arm

Dr Chandra Embuldeniya
(Chairman of the Committee)
Inaugural Vice Chancellor, University of Uva Wellassa,
former President National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL)

Prof. Rohan Munasinghe
(Member of the Committee)
Professor, Department of Electronic & Telecommunication Engineering,
University of Moratuwa,
Council Member - National Innovation Agency,
Director, UBL, UoM

Dr Dharshana de Silva
(Member of the Committee)
Senior Lecturer,
Sir John Kothalawala Defense University (KDU)

Dr Nanda Gunawardena
(Member of the Committee)
Director Research & International Affairs,
Sri Lanka Technological Campus (SLTC)

Dr Janaki Gooneratne
(Member of the Committee)
Former Principal Scientist
Industrial Technology Institute,
Colombo 07.

Prof. Nilwala Kottegoda
(Member of the Committee)
Professor, Department of Chemistry,
University of Sri Jayawardenapura

ToR of the Technology development and Innovations Arm

  1. To identify high priority TD needs in line with the national priorities and policy.
  2. To promote and facilitate strategic PPPs leading to development of startups.
  3. To liaise closely with the Research Arm of the NSF to identify/ promote research projects that could yield findings with commercialization potential.
  4. To develop and facilitate a transparent, robust and time-efficient evaluation process of proposals.
  5. To facilitate securing international funding for TD by assisting the development of joint proposals with industry.
  6. To periodically monitor and review progress of the grants awarded for successful completion.
  7. To provide necessary guidance and support for the successful grantees to obtain patents and licenses, develop prototypes and secure the requisite funds to commercialize their products and services.
  8. To transfer technologies developed to industry.

Working Groups of Technology development and Innovations Arm

The TDIA has set up 07 working groups for the facilitation of the value chain activities. These working groups have Sri Lanka’s best scientific experts contributing voluntarily. The working groups serve research, technology development, commercialization needs in the value chain. These numbers will expand as the activities expand with time. The NSF brings its invaluable expertise as the input into the PPP with a measured value over the period determined for engagement. This is the input capital from the NSF and so will be the input capital from research organizations that join in the PPP. The private or public organizations seeking the benefit has to join with the financial capital that will be drawn into the operations during the project period.

Composition of the Working Group (WG) on Quality Control and Quality Assurance of Herbal Products Entering the Market

Dr Jaanaki Gooneratne
(Team Lead)
Former Principal Research Scientist
Industrial Technology Institute

Dr. Dhammika Abygunawardena
(Team Member)
Chairman, Ayurveda Department,

Dr.Senaka Pilapitiya
(Team Member)
Bandaranaike Ayurveda Research Institute,

Dr. Menuka Arawawala
(Team Member)
Principal Research Scientist,
Herbal Technology Division
Industrial Technology Institute

Senior Prof. Priyani Paranagama
(Team Member)
Institute of Indigenous Medicine,
University of Colombo

Dr. W.A.L. Chandrasiri Waliwita
(Team Member)
Faculty of Post Graduate Studies,
Gampaha Wickramarachchi University of Indigenous Medicine

Dr. Bandula Weerasooriya
(Team Member)
Senior Lecturer,
Gampaha Wickramarachchi University of Indigenous Medicine

Dr. Kamal Perera
(Team Member)
Senior Lecturer,
Institute of Indigenous Medicine,
University of Colombo

Composition of the Working Group on Food Safety and Potential Health Risks from Food
Composition of the Working Group on Quality Assurance (QA)
Composition of the Working Group on National Innovation Ecosystem Development with the Stakeholders
Composition of the Working Group on Compiling an Instrument Database
Composition of the Working Group on Collaboration with University Business Link Cells
Composition of the Working Group on Capacity Building

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