Sixth webinar on Digital Platform with Sri Lankan expatriate professionals in Japan was a singular success

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The National Science Foundation is in the process of constructing a digital platform with technical support of the Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLAASCOM) with a view to harnessing Sri Lankan expatriate scientists, professionals and entrepreneurs for national development. Five webinars in this connection were held with active participation of and constructive comments from Sri Lankans in Australia, USA, UK, Europe and Canada.

The sixth webinar was held on 20th October 2020 at 2.30 p.m. (Sri Lanka time) under the chairmanship of Prof. Ranjith Senaratne of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka (NSF) and with the valuable inputs from Prof. N.S. Cooray, Professor of Economics, Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) International University of Japan (Principal Liaison Point from Japan) and Dr Nanda Gunawardhana, Director - International Affairs and Research, Sri Lanka Technological Campus (Principal Liaison Point from Sri Lanka).    

Prof. Monte Cassim, Professor and President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and Vice Chancellor, Ritsumeikan Trust  highlighted  the importance and possibilities of technology transfer and investment by the Japanese industrial and academic sectors backed by the strong Sri Lankan expatriate professional bodies in Japan. He further elaborated on the importance of technology foresight and how it has been utilized by Japan to plan the way forward for  S & T development. Importance of  establishing an institution similar to  ‘Academia Sinica’ in Taiwan for active engagement of the Sri Lankan expatriate scientists abroad was stressed. Prof. Ananda Kumara, Faculty of Foreign Studies, Nagoya Dome Mae Campus, Meijo University too expressed his views on the importance of effective coordination and  collaboration between both countries through the Sri Lankan expatriates in Japan.

There was valuable input from  both senior as well as up-and-coming Sri Lankan scientists, academics and professionals in Japan by way of ideas, suggestions and propositions to make the platform impactful and sustainable. Possibilities for  strengthening linkages among the academic and research communities of both countries through the Sakura Science Programme of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) were discussed with special reference to  environmental health assessment, disaster risk reduction (DRR), agriculture, development of low-cost laboratory equipment and scienceware for schools in Sri Lanka.

Prof. Jay Rajasekera (Professor Emeritus, International University of Japan and Vice President and Dean of the Graduate School of Business and Commerce, Tokyo International University), Prof. Keerthi Guruge (Head, Toxicology Unit, National Institute of Animal Health, National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and an adjunct professor in the Osaka prefecture University, Osaka, Japan), Dr Mohamed Rasmy (Senior Researcher, International Centre for Water Hazard and Risk Management under the auspices of UNESCO, Japan), Prof. Pathmasiri Jayasena (Associate Professor, Department of International Liberal Arts, International College of Arts and Sciences, Fukuoka Women's University, Japan) and Dr. Viraj Jayaweera (Principal Scientist at SPD Laboratory Inc., Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan) made valuable observations while Mr. Ashique Ali of SLASSCOM spoke on the key features of the digital platform which is to be launched soon.  

Mr Gamini Marambe, President, Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association (JASTECA), Dr Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne (Director General, National Institute of Education and a Member of the Board of Management of NSF, Prof. Ananda Jayawardane (Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Moratuwa and a Member of the Board of Management of NSF were among  the distinguished speakers who made valuable contribution.

This zoom event was hosted by Prof. Prasad Jayaweera,  Department of Computer Science, University of Sri Jayawardhanpura. Mr Shantha Siri, Head, International Liaison Division was ably assisted by Ms Thilinakumari Kandanamulla, Scientific Officer in coordinating the event.

Links:

List of participants

Webinar recording:  https://youtu.be/QbeCUAsew2A

Programme


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