Prof. Aruna Weerasooriya, University of Texas (A&M), USA visits NSF

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The NSF established a digital platform in 2020 with a view to harnessing Sri Lankan expatriates for national development and a large number of Sri Lankan scientists across the globe holding senior positions in academia and industry have already joined it. The digital platform has already conducted several programmes to mobilize the expatriates to enhance academic and research programmes in Sri Lankan universities. 
 
Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya, Professor & Chair, Plant & Environmental Sciences at the University of Texas (A&M) University, USA, an active member on digital platform, visited the NSF on the 3rd August 2021 on the invitation of Prof. Ranjith Senaratne, Chairman of the NSF. He held discussions with Prof. Senaratne with a view to initiating a collaborative programme  in the field of urban agriculture including vertical farming. Prof. Niranjan Gunawardena, Vice-Chancellor, University of Moratuwa and Mr. Rizvi Zaheed, President, Agri-Entrepreneurs' Forum joined the discussion.
 
It was decided to formulate a joint proposal between academia,  industry and the University of Texas (A&M), USA with the intervention of the NSF for the transfer of technology and know-how on vertical farming under controlled environmental conditions.
 
In addition, following the programmes conducted through the digital platform, many prospective graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have contacted Prof. Weerasooriya and some met him at the NSF to explore the possibility in pursuing postgraduate studies and postdoctoral research at the Texas (A&M) University, USA.

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