Science Technology and Research (STR) Development Highlights in the Ministry and its Institutes in 2016

STS Forum

This Forum was conducted in Colombo from 8th to 10th September 2016, while the Inauguration Ceremony of the same held on 7th September 2016.

The main objective of conducting this Forum is to facilitate to explore the opportunities for the Sri Lankan Society from global Science and Technological developments; discuss the role of Science and Technology in Sri Lankan society, and Analyzing barriers in adopting Science and Technology in our society. During this Forum, it addressed themes in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlighted the specific areas of interests such as, Citizen Science, advanced technology based solutions, basic science, capacity building in Science Technology Innovations, Science and Technology funding and Sri Lankan Innovation platform etc.

The Forum was attended by prominent international experts and organizations including Chairman of the STS Forum in Japan; Officers of Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP); UNESCO, CERN etc.

His Excellency the President graced the Inauguration Ceremony and other dignitaries. The Inauguration Ceremony was attended by 1500 guests including Scientists, Researchers at the national and international level and, Technologists, Industrialists, University and School students.

For the Forum, the total number of participants was 650, out of which about 100 were from foreign countries including the eminent Sri Lankan Expatriate Scientists. The Sri Lankan participants included Scientists, Government and private sector Technologists and Industrialists, Inventors and Innovators, University Students and Upper grade Students in local schools.



Science and Technology Collaboration under bilateral and multilateral agreements with other countries

Indo Sri Lanka Science and Technology Collaboration

In September 2011, the Ministry entered a Program of Cooperation (PoC) with the Department of Science and Technology, India where provisions were made for the scientists in both countries to engage in joint collaborative research and workshops. Nine Research projects were started and the midterm progress review meeting was held in 11th May 2016. Seven projects out of the eight projects which are receiving funds from the Governments are completed in 2016. One Project was extended up to mid-2017.


This session is under construction

Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sri Lankan Society (in collaboration with NSF)

Collaborations with Universities

International Conference on multidisciplinary approaches 2016 organized  by FGS/ University of Jayewardanapura was funded.

COSTI Received the E-Swabimani Award for 2016 for Sri Lanka Innovation Dash Board

Sri Lanka Innovation Dashboard was developed by COSTI to provide current information on science, technology and innovation of the country. Sri Lanka Innovation Dashboard won the Government and open data category of E-Swabhimani awarded by ICTA.

National Science Center

This session is under construction

Arthur C. Clarke Institute Modern Technologies

  • Automated Hospital Bed  to Bio-Med International (Pvt.) Ltd
  • Panel Displays to NWSDB
  • Development of a Tumbling Barrel for switch testing
  • ACCIMT continued to work with United Nations Economic Social Commission of the Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) -Regional Space Application Programme (RESAP), Centre for Space Science & Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), Asia -Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural & Cultural Heritage (HIST) in the field of space science & technology.
  • Links were also initiated with a world renowned University for technical assistance in the area of design and manufacture of a Sri Lanka’s first ever Nanosatellite and a kick-off workshop on the project was held in August 2016  in collaboration with Samara State Aerospace University of Russia.
  • A virtual Ground station was setup at ACCIMT with the help of a team of Chinese experts from the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) and The International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) in China.

Industrial Technology Institute

  • Completion of State of the Art Laboratories for Herbal and Food Technology Sections at Malabe, new Research & Development Complex (MRDC)
  • A solar reactor for purification of agrochemical contaminated industrial waste water.
  • Domestic formulation of kidney dialysis solution

  • Development of modified KASPER and treatment protocol for coconut tapping
  • Banana flour with high resistant starch and free of glutan was identified as an alternative for wheat flour
  • Processing technology of Glucose syrup from corn and cassava
  • Eight indigenous probiotic lactic acid bacteria, Lactobacillus and Pediocuccus species isolated and identified from fermented finger millet and banana varieties are ready for technology transfer.
  • Bio wax formulations for extending the storage life of mango and papaya
  • Initiation of a development of a diagnostic test for the detection of food borne pathogens in food samples
  • Initiation of a development of a diagnostic kit for the detection of anti-rabies antibodies in serum samples after post-exposure of rabies vaccination in humans.

National Engineering Research and Development Centre

  • Development of Milking Machine

Manually operated milking machine has been developed in order to replace the manual milking processes in rural areas focusing to improve the productivity and efficiency of the Dairy Industries in rural areas.

  • Pre-stressed Concrete Retaining Wall

In order to replace the conventional retaining wall system, (instead of rubble masonry wall and Reinforced Cement Concrete [R.C.C.]) focusing to reduce the cost and time, pre-stressed concrete technologies have been introduced for construction of reinforced wall for normal applications.

  •  Development of Hopper Machine

Machine has been developed jointly with the University of Ruhuna and the NERDC. Special features of the machine are; Output - 350 Nos. of hoppers/ hour, containing capacity - 200 hoppers, each hopper is equal in quality.

  • On the request of Department of Irrigation, the NERDC has commenced a project to develop an Aquatic Weeder to remove weeds in drainage canals which is currently being done manually. This will reduce both labor cost and time.

National Institute of Fundamental Studies

  • An innovative, three layer, TiO2 nanoparticle /Nanofibre/Nanoparticle composite photoanode was designed and tested for efficiency enhancement in solar cells. 
  • Field/demonstration trials successful with mung bean at Tissamaharama area and forage legume clover at Ambewela farm. Field trials in progress with groundnut and forage legume alfa-alfa.
  • Developed techniques to purify Sri Lankan natural vein graphite up to 99.99% ultra high purity and successfully synthesized graphene oxide nano material from highly purified Sri Lankan natural vein graphite.
  • Introduced surface modification techniques to Sri Lankan graphite suitable for lithium ion battery application
  • Sri Lankan patent 17423 has been obtained on Detection of rpoB, inhA and katG sequences of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.
  • Developed a novel method for analyzing alpha amylase activity
  • Innovation of biochar from municipal solid waste to treat its own waste which reduces the waste load.
  • Research on the use of industry by-product biochar and other low cost materials to treat rejected wastewater from Reverse Osmosis plants in CKDu
  • Initiated a new sub research project on developing local minerals and related materials for efficient water purification, aiming to design a low-cost household water filter.
  • MoU with Sara Bhumi Lanka for development of highly nutritive compost, development of multi-microbial inoculants for rapid decomposition of organic matter and non-chemical pest repellents and pesticides.
  • Research to develop a laboratory battery testing facility by acquiring a dedicated constant atmosphere glove box and other battery testing apparatus.

National Research Council

  • Target Oriented Multidisciplinary Research Grants: TO

Research Grants for year 2016 under 13 areas which includes improving water quality, healthy food, renewable energy biomedical engineering, making teas industry competitive etc. Progress review on Multi-vector control of Dengue, Prevention of Chronic Kidney Diseases, Development of polyvalent anti-venom, Developing climate smart agro-techniques, Achieve self-sufficiency in dairy production.

  • Private Public Partnership Program

The Public Private Partnership (PPP) project of NRC successfully launched its first product, locally synthesized pheromone trap to manage the fruit fly problem in Sri Lanka. Partners of this project are Industrial Technology Institute and CIC Holdings PLC.

The second product, locally developed nasal spray was under final testing procedures prior to the commercialization and partners of this project are Faculty of Medical Science, USJP and Lina Manufacturing Pvt Ltd.

  • Investigator Driven Research Grants Program

36 Research Grants were funded.

  • President’s Awards for Scientific Publication : PASP    

PASP 2013 graced by HE the President was held in November 2015 and 211 scientists were awarded certificate of excellence, from fields of medical sciences, dentistry, agricultural sciences, and Engineering etc.

National Science Foundation

  • Competitive Research Grants

In order to support more researchers, 23 grants were awarded at the first round of Competitive Research Grant Scheme, 2016. 14 Grants were completed with 7 MPhils and 2 PhDs.

  • Postgraduate Research Scholarships

Ten scholarships were awarded for 7 MPhils and 3 PhDs. 3 MPhils were completed.

  • NSF Research Summit 2016

The “Research Summit; Empowered by Research & Innovation”  was held in July at  BMICH, Colombo. The Summit provided common platform to discuss and exchange experiences, recent advances in the identified fields and explore the commercialization opportunities.

  • NSF Awards

NSF Awards ceremony was held successfully at BMICH in November 2015. One NSF Research Award, Six Support Scheme for Supervision of Research Degrees (SUSRED) Awards, two TWAS /NSF Young Scientist Awards, six Technology Awards and one Commendation Certificate were presented at this ceremony.

NSF Award Winners 2015

  • National Awards for Science and Technology Achievements (NASTA Awards)

NASTA Award scheme is to bestow outstanding scientists, researchers, engineers and technologists who made significant contribution to socio-economic development through application of S&T.

  • National Thematic Research Programme (NTRP)

A web based crop forecasting system developed through a NTRP grant was taken up by the Ministry of Agriculture, to be used as the National Software for Agriculture.

  • Creating a platform for technology development, transfer and start-up businesses based on new technologies

Following six technologies were developed and appropriate follow up actions are in progress to establish partnerships with investors/technology practitioners for further development/commercialization.

  1. Soldering Robot System with Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) for electronics manufacturing industry
  2. Development of urinary glucose strips as an import substitute 
  3. Pilot-scale molding machine for continuous production of dry rubber open cell product
  4. ‘COP Sayura’ : The three-dimensional coastal surveillance system
  5. Efficient single dryer for drying different types of natural rubber
  6. All in one mathematic board

National Science and Technology Commission

  • 4th Young Scientist Forum (YSF) Research Symposium held  in January 2016 giving opportunities for young Scientists to present their research work to the scientific community. 65 research papers were presented at this Symposium and published in symposium proceedings. Approximately 80 Scientists participated at this symposium.

A section of the participants

Receiving Merit Certificates

  • National Research and Development Framework (NRDF) has been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers as the National Framework for Research & Development of Sri Lanka and presented to H.E. the President in May 2016.

Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment

  • SLAB is a member and has been admitted to be a partner of the following international organizations. 4th column provides information on international recognitions obtained from September 2015 to end of August 2016. SLAB was successful in continuing its membership of APLAC and PAC after the international and regional peer evaluation conducted in September.
  • Accreditation of GHG Verification and Validation bodies was started and accreditation was granted for two certification bodie.
  • SLAB has been admitted to a member of PAC MLA from June 2016.
  • Initiated a new accreditation programme for Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and accreditation criteria was developed.

Sri Lanka Inventors Commission

  • Presidential Awards from the patented inventions during year 2013 and 2014 was held in February 2016 which was presided by H.E. the President. 31 awards were given to 29 inventions under 11 fields.
President’s Award ceremony
  • Seven Sri Lankan inventors participated at International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva in April 2016 and won two Gold Medals, three Silver Medals and three Bronze Medals.
  • Four student inventors who were selected to the final round of “Innova Minds 2016” TV Reality Show Programme participated at Korea International Youth Olympiad (KIYO) in Middle School Category- Team Competition and won the Silver Prize.
  • Four student inventors who were selected to the final round “Innova Minds 2016” were nominated to participate  at the International Young Inventors Award, Indonesia  held in September 2016.
Participation at international exhibitions
  • October 26th has been declared as National Inventors Day with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers which falls on the birth day of Dr.A.N.S.Kulasinghe, a Great Sri Lankan Engineer, Inventor as well as the first Commissioner of Sri Lanka Inventors Commission. The National Inventors Day was celebrated on 26th October 2016 with issuing of commemorative stamp of Dr.A.N.S.Kulasinghe.
  • The SLIC commenced issuing Identity card for inventors with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers.
  • Sahasak Nimawum 2016 was held in September 2016 with the participation of provincial and national level inventions selected under four main categories namely; Open, University and Tertiary Educational Institutes, Commercialized Inventions and School. 89 open category, 15 University and Tertiary Educational Institutes, 2 commercial inventions and 199 school category inventions were showcased at the exhibition.
Sahasak Nimawum 2016
  • The reality TV Programme of student inventors “The Innova Mind” was telecasted via Jathika Rupavahini from February to May 2016 with the objective of popularizing inventions and innovations among younger generation by way of using electronic media with the participation of 21 student inventors selected among the 76 applications received island wide.
Innova Mind reality TV Programme

Sri Lanka Standards Institution

Area of Certification and Accreditation No of certificates issued
Systems Certification
Quality Management System (QMS (ISO 9001) 30
Environmental Management System (EMS (ISO 14001) 09
Food Safety Management System (FSMS (ISO 22000) 33
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) 18
Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) 66
Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Services (OHSAS) 05
OHSAS and Energy Management System certification (OHSAS EnMs (ISO 50001) 07
Total 168
Product Certification  
SLS Permits issued 141
Area of standards development No. of standards
Number of new standards approved 153
Number of draft standards in progress 117

Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (pvt) Ltd (SLINTEC)

Strategic research projects conducted

  • Research on Titanium

The project is on extraction of Titanium from Ilmenite through a new extraction method. SLINTEC plans to develop pilot plant in 2017.

  • Research on Thorium

The project is on Extraction of Thorium and rare earth oxide from Monazite sand. SLINTEC has developed lab scale process and next step is to do the scaling up.

  • Research on Synthetic Chemistry

SLINTEC has applied for GLP certification during the year and also is working on developing an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturing capability.

  • Research on Carbon Nano Fibre.

The project focuses on developing Carbon Nano Tube (CNT) Yarn which is used in many industries as powerful advanced material.

  • Research on Graphite

The project researches on generating Graphene Oxide and Graphene from Sri Lanka vein graphite.

In September 2016 SLINTEC started the operations in the Technology Incubation Center (TIC) and two tenants have already signed agreements to occupy TIC space for their research labs and one tenant has already establish their research lab in the TIC. Discussions are ongoing with potential new clients.

During 2016 SLINTEC started the construction of a state of the art Greenhouse in collaboration with the Yunnan Rural Science and Technology Transfer Service Centre. The Greenhouse will be powered by solar and will use aeroponics and hydroponics as new technologies for plant growth.

During 2016 SLINTEC filed 4 International US patents. In addition, published 12 papers in internationally recognized journals. In 2016 SLINTEC was also highlighted in the Forbes Asia magazine.

Government Monetary allocations in 2016

Categories Capital (Rs. Mn.)
Ministry 896.7
Institutes 1354
Special projects approved through budget proposal 550
Total 2800.7
Programme Capital (Rs. Mn.)
Industrial Technology Institute (ITI) 531
Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies (ACCIMT) 80
National Engineering Research and Development Centre (NERD Centre) 50
National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS) 140
National Science Foundation (NSF) 250
National Research Council ( NRC) 230
National Science and Technology Commission ( NASTEC) 11
Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) 0
Sri Lanka Accreditation Board for Conformity Assessment (SLAB) 2
Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) 60
Total 1354