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    Sri Lankan business moving to nano technology

    The National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka has planned to hold a seminar titled “Nanotechnology in National Development” at SLFI  on the 5th of April in Colombo.The Chairman of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka Dr. Kingsley de Alwis told Asian Sun that the purpose of the seminar is to create an awareness about the advanced benifits of nanotechnology and its role in National development.

    The business community in Sri Lanka is abuzz with talk about innovations based on nanotechnology that could help them leapfrog over their competitors in global and local markets. Nobody wants to be left behind. Nanotechnology has exciting applications in almost every field in Sri Lanka, which include: agriculture, medicine, manufacturing of paints, fabrics, electronics and water purification. Unfortunately, our businesses have so far been rather slow in adopting nanotech innovations, while foreign businesses are jumping in and patenting the new processes and applications that are being developed by our own scientists.

    Areas with particular applicability and promise in Sri Lanka include:
    in agriculture: slow-release of nutrients from fertilizer leading to much more efficient fertilizer use;
    in the paint industry: manufacture of single-application paints with greater strength;
    in medicine: targeted chemotherapy-drug delivery to cancer cells for the treatment of cancer,
    in the garment industry: manufacturing water and stain repellent clothing,
    in the health and environment sector: the cleanup of chemicals in groundwater using iron nano-particles, possibly of great use in treating groundwater in the areas in the North Central Province affected by Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology (CKDu);
    in politics: manufacture of light- weight bullet proof vests made out of carbon nano-tubes for our political leaders; etc. etc.

    With a view to showcasing the achievements and on-going achievements in Nanotechnology in Sri Lanka, the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka (NASSL) will be conducting a one-day seminar entitled “Nanotechnology in National Development” focusing on what is actually being achieved in Sri Lanka by Nanotechnology R&D. The seminar will be held at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 5th April 2013 from 8.30 a.m. till 4.00 pm. The Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Prof. Tissa Vitarana, himself a Fellow of the NASSL, will be the Chief Guest for this Seminar, continuing his message on the need for innovation for the country’s development.

    The listed speakers, all leading exponents in the field of nanotechnology, are as follows:
    * Prof. Sirimali Fernando will give a brief history of nanotechnology development in Sri Lanka;
    * Prof. Gehan Amaratunga will give the keynote presentation on “Profits from Particles: Nanotechnology’s contribution to the National Economy”;
    * Prof. Veranja Karunaratne’s presentation will be on “Adding value – generating wealth”;
    * Prof. K.M. Nalin de Silva will speak of Sri Lankan initiatives in the use of NT in the textile industry;
    * Dr. Nilwala Kottegoda and Dr. Nimal Dissanayake will speak on the slow release of nitrogen to plants, leading to a more economical and environmentally friendly use of fertilizer; and
    * Eng. Sunanda Gunasekera (together with Dr. Mervyn Gunasekera) will speak on the construction of the country’s first Park for Science by SLINTEC.
    * Industry-experiences will be presented by Mr. Prabodha Silva on behalf of DIMO and Mr. Ashan de Silva for LAUGFS.
    * Prof. Ajith de Alwis will round off the presentations with a talk on “Sustainable Nanotechnology in Sri Lanka – Gaining wealth with people and planet in mind”.

    This will be an excellent opportunity for business leaders to gain some insights into the investment possibilities in fields of nanotechnology covering almost all sectors of the economy, ranging from agriculture through medicine to industry. These possibilities are not founded on theoretical speculation, but based on what has been or is being achieved by pioneering companies that have ventured to invest in this technology, right here in Sri Lanka. It is a must-attend seminar for anyone interested in the technological, business and investment opportunities in nanotechnology. There is still time for interested businessmen to register for this seminar by e-mail ( or phone (011-267-8770)

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