Sri Lanka & American universities cooperate on innovation, entrepreneurship


Top American engineering and science universities shared strategies for developing technology incubators and technology transfer offices with Sri Lankan university, government, and business leaders as part of the U.S. commitment to helping Sri Lanka develop a diversified, modern economy that can attract foreign and domestic investment.

“Sri Lanka is well-positioned to become a technology hub in Asia, given its excellent human capital,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap. “We hope that putting these talented minds together can help strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in this country, and that Sri Lanka can be known not just for world class tea, but world class IT.”

The 11 Sri Lankan delegates visited Princeton University in New Jersey and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania from October 26 to November 4 through support from them U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP). Over the course of the ten-day program, participants from six Sri Lankan universities also met with CLDP, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and a locally-based incubator in Washington, D.C. to learn how to generate value from self-developed intellectual property (IP) through different forms of IP protection, licensing, start-ups, and publication.

“It was a big boost to me and my fellow participants to learn the art and science of commercializing innovation, or tech transfer, to strengthen Sri Lanka’s economy and fuel IP-based research and development,” said Manjula Sandirigama, Professor at the University of Perideniya. “After our visit, I am optimistic that my team and I now have the necessary tools to help create a healthy innovation environment in Sri Lanka.”

The U.S. Embassy in Colombo is supporting a wide range of expert exchanges and programs on entrepreneurship and innovation as a way to help Sri Lanka expand its prosperity. This week Sri Lanka and the United States also join other governments around the world to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and motivate people to bring their ideas to life through innovative start-ups.

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