Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology

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Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology
Logo of Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology.png
SLINTEC060917.jpg
The Nanotechnology Center for Excellence, opened in 2013 Currently houses SLINTEC
Established2008
FocusNanotechnology, Advanced materials and allied research
Staff100+
Key peopleHeminda Jayaweera
(Chief Operating Officer)
Ananda Hettiarachchi
(Chief of Research & Engineering)
SubsidiariesSLINTEC Academy
SLINTEC Analytical Services
SLINTEC Startup Engine
OwnerPublic–private partnership between:
Location
Nanotechnology & Science Park, Mahenwatta, Pitipana
,
Homagama 10206
,
Coordinates6°49′34″N 80°02′17″E / 6.826241°N 80.038178°E / 6.826241; 80.038178Coordinates: 6°49′34″N 80°02′17″E / 6.826241°N 80.038178°E / 6.826241; 80.038178
Websiteslintec.lk

The Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (Sinhala: ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිනිති තාක්ෂණ ආයතනය; Tamil: இலங்கை நனோ தொழில்நுட்ப நிறுவனம்) (abbreviated and commonly known as SLINTEC) is a Sri Lankan research institute specializing in the field of nanotechnology. It was incorporated in 2008 as a public-private partnership between the Government of Sri Lanka and five private companies, and is notable for being the first public-private research institute in the country.[1][2]

In 2017, it was accredited as a degree-awarding institution by the Ministry of Higher Education and Highways, leading to the establishment of the SLINTEC Academy.[3][4][5]

Background[edit]

The idea of a national science policy for Sri Lanka was first discussed in the 1980s, although the matter did not move forward in any concrete way for several decades due to the more pressing economic and budgetary needs of the civil war on successive administrations.[6] Nevertheless, a presidential taskforce was appointed in 1991 to examine possible policy actions to be taken in the field of the sciences.[6] Further advancements came some years later, when the Science and Technology Act No. 11 of 1994 established, among others, the National Science Foundation (NSF; formally founded in 1998 for funding scientific research in the country) and the National Science and Technology Commission (NASTEC; formally founded in August 1998 to formulate scientific policy) under the newly-established Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).[6][7][8][9] Despite these efforts, R&D investments in the country were minimal, being just 0.19% GDP in 2006 (0.11% in 2008), lower than regional peers such as India (0.61%) and Malaysia (0.63%), and generally holding at <0.2% through the years.[6][10][11] This has been attributed to various factors, including a lack of an innovation culture in Sri Lanka and a risk-averse private sector that did not see much benefit in local R&D ventures.[11] Sri Lanka has thus underperformed significantly in increasing the share of high technology exports as a percentage of its total manufactured exports when compared to regional peers such as India.[12]

History[edit]

The National Nanotechnology Initiative was formed informally in the early 2000s as a collaborative effort between a group of expatriate Sri Lankan scientists and officials from the NSF and the MoST, seeking to promote nanotechnology research in Sri Lanka.[13] The Initiative cited several other related objectives:[13]

  • developing nanotechnology-based industry in Sri Lanka
  • attracting nanotechnology expertise of Sri Lankans both in the country and outside it
  • increasing the competitiveness of local industry through local R&D
  • value addition to national resources slated for exports
  • developing a local skills base centered around nanotechnology.

The Initiative approached the minister of science and technology at the time, Tissa Vitharana, going on to brief the president in a presentation in November 2005.[13][14] This resulted in a cabinet memorandum the same year, proposing the formal commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to the initiative, which was approved by the cabinet on 23 August 2006.[2][13] It defined a broad objective of generating a pool of experts with all necessary facilities for nanotechnology-based research at a national level.[13] Due to a lack of funds, however, the project stagnated until the efforts of Ravi Silva, a Sri Lankan professor and nanotechnology specialist at the University of Surrey, who persuaded five private companies to consider investing in the venture.[2][15]

The Ministry of Science and Technology announced a public-private partnership to establish a nanotechnology venture in 2007 with a holding company, NANCO (Pvt.) Ltd., being founded soon after. SLINTEC (through NANCO) was established with the state owning a 50% stake via an initial investment of LKR 250 million through the National Science Foundation, and five private sector partners each investing LKR 40 million and owning 10% stakes for a total seed capital of LKR 450 million.[14][16]

Inside the Center for Excellence, opened in 2013. The building contains seven laboratories, including a dedicated basement facility for a scanning electron microscope and a transmission electron microscope, as well as office space

SLINTEC was incorporated as a private company in April 2008.[17] In September of that year, the Board of Investment signed an agreement with NANCO for the development and management of a nanotechnology park in Homagama.[16][18] SLINTEC was launched officially on 1 December 2008, with initial work taking place in a garage; formal research work commenced on 12 August 2009, operating out of MAS Holdings' Silueta complex within the Biyagama Export Processing Zone, with research staff drawn from local universities.[2][14][19] In 2010, NANCO was merged into SLINTEC.[20] The construction of phase 1a of the Nanotechnology Center for Excellence on a 50 acre land within the Homagama Nanotechnology and Science Park began in June 2012, with the hexagonal facility formally opening on 21 October 2013.[17][21] It currently houses both SLINTEC and the SLINTEC Academy, and a second hexagon is slated for completion by 2019.[2]

In 2013, Lankem joined SLINTEC as its sixth private sector partner.[21]

The greenhouse complex within the nanotechnology park

In 2016, the Yunnan Rural Science and Technology Service Center helped establish a greenhouse within the Nanotechnology Park for use by SLINTEC.[22][23]

Private sector collaboration[edit]

Ceylon Graphene Technologies (Pvt) Ltd, a joint venture of LOLC Group and SLINTEC that aims to place Sri Lanka in the global market for graphene and associated products, was established in June 2018. With some of the best quality Graphite in the world being mined from Sri Lanka, Ceylon Graphene Technologies (Pvt) Ltd is steadily establishing itself as the manufacturer of high-quality Graphene and carbon based advanced material. LOLC joined hands with SLINTEC as the seventh private sector partner in order to enhance and propel LOLC’s competitive position on the proprietary technology in all industrial sectors. The private sector expertise and industrial experience brought in through LOLC are coupled with the technological expertise of SLINTEC to create a unique partnership that has the potential to reach unforeseen heights in the global market. [24]

SLINTEC signed a research commercialisation agreement with British Cosmetics Ltd in June 2018 to launch a new product range, after successful completion of research focusing on the development of novel facial care products. British Cosmetics engaged with SLINTEC on November 2016 to carry out this research in order to develop a product range with scientifically proven benefits. [25]

SLINTEC signed a research commercialisation agreement with Dynawash Ltd in January 2019 to introduce a new natural textile dyeing technology using biomass pigments. Unlike synthetic dyes which tend to remain stable to common oxidation and reduction processes as per their designing and so are very difficult to remove from textile industry effluents, the developed natural dying process, involves biodegradable material, without the use of any oxidant or reductant and minimises the environmental impact of waste water treatment. SLINTEC engaged with Dynawash in July 2017 for this research project, which underwent a successful research and development phase for one and a half years [26]

Other private sector collaborators of SLINTEC include MAS Holdings, Teejay Lanka PLC (formerly Textured Jersey), CIC Holdings, Nagarjuna Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd. (NFCL), India and LAUGFS Holdings.[2][27][28][29][30][31]

Research focus areas[edit]

SLINTEC Academy[edit]

Academy of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology
MottoLatin: Educare et Educere
TypeGraduate school
Established2017
Parent institution
Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology
ChancellorIshara Nanayakkara
Vice-ChancellorVeranja Karunaratne
ProvostRanil Gunaratne
Academic staff
30[2]
Postgraduates27
6
Address
Nanotechnology & Science Park, Mahenwatta, Pitipana
,
Homagama 10206
,
6°49′34″N 80°02′17″E / 6.826241°N 80.038178°E / 6.826241; 80.038178
CampusUrban
LanguageEnglish
Colors         
Websiteslintecacademy.lk
Slintec academy logo new.png

The Academy of the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (also known as SLINTEC Academy) is a private non-profit graduate school, founded as SLINTEC's knowledge dissemination arm.[33] The school offers MPhil and PhD degrees in Nano- and Advanced Sciences, and was formally inaugurated on 22 September 2017 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.[4][5][33] The Academy focuses on industry-oriented research as a core component of its course-/degree work, with a view towards creating a skills base within the country.[2][33]

Establishment[edit]

Extraordinary gazette 2032/23 of the Government of Sri Lanka recognized SLINTEC as a degree-awarding higher education institute on 16 August 2017.[34] SLINTEC then established the Academy as a separate entity for the execution of the institute's educational mandate, with industrialist and entrepreneur Mahesh Amalean appointed Chancellor.[4][5] The school's first intake consisted of 19 students: 6 PhD- and 13 MPhil researchers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SLINTEC launches certificate course in nanotechnology". ft.lk. Daily Financial Times. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hettiarachchi, Kumudini (14 January 2018). "Stepping into our own 'magical' world of nano". sundaytimes.lk. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Nano degrees from SL's Nano Institute". Sundaytimes.lk. The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. 20 August 2017. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Slintec Academy to Emerge as the Leading Post Graduate degree provider in Advanced Technologies Slintec Academy to Emerge as the Leading Post Graduate degree provider in Advanced Technologies". Island.lk. The Island. 4 March 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "SLINTEC Academy: Boon to Sri Lankan post graduate degree seekers in cutting edge technology". Ft.lk. Financial Times of Sri Lanla. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Gamage, Tharaka (16 September 2010). "Sri Lanka's science plan moves ahead at last". scidev.net. SciDevNet. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Science and Technology Development Act". SriLankaLaw lk. Blackball Publishing. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  8. ^ "History". NSF.ac.lk. National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  9. ^ "About Us". NASTEC.lk. National Science and Technology Commission of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  10. ^ Mashelkar, R.A. (June 2009). Leveraging High Technology to Drive Innovation & Competitiveness & Build the Sri Lankan Knowledge Economy. The World Bank. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  11. ^ a b Daniel, Smriti (14 March 2013). "Sri Lanka launches office to foster innovation". Scidev.net. SciDevNet. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  12. ^ Acharyya, Rajat (2005). "2.2". Product Standards, Exports and Employment: An Analytical Study. Heidelberg, Germany: Physica-Verlag. p. 6. ISBN 3-7908-1557-8. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e De Alwis, Ajith (1 July 2012). "Nanotechnology in Sri Lanka:A new beginning with a new technology but commitment is key". Island.lk. The Island. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Nanotechnology products in three years". Sundaytimes.lk. The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Professor Ravi Silva". University of Surrey. surrey.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Sri Lanka to set up nanotechnology research institute". Nanowerk. 22 December 2007. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Sri Lanka's first nanotechnology research center and nanoscience park opens". Colombopage.com. Colombo Page. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  18. ^ "World's first Nanotechnology Park in Sri Lanka". Sundaytimes.lk. The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka. 24 September 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  19. ^ De Alwis, Ajith (1 December 2011). "Bringing the world to Sri Lanka". FT.lk. Daily Financial Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  20. ^ Tomczyk, Michael (2015). NanoInnovation: What Every Manager Needs to Know. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH. p. 205. ISBN 978-3-527-32672-3. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  21. ^ a b De Silva Wijeyeratne, Harin (19 October 2013). "President Opend [sic] the newly built Nanotechnology Centre of Excellence". Island.lk. The Island. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  22. ^ "SLINTEC: Steering Sri Lanka's Quantum Leap Into the Future". ForbesCustom. custom.forbes.com. 12 December 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  23. ^ Wijewardena, W.A. (21 August 2017). "Sri Lanka's march toward emerging sciences: A rugged road but not impossible to tread". My View: Economic Matters. FT.lk. Daily Financial Times. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  24. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sundaytimes CGPL was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  25. ^ Cite error: The named reference DailyFT British Cosmetics was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  26. ^ Cite error: The named reference DailyFT Dynawash was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  27. ^ "MAS Holdings obtains high tech patent from SLINTEC". Dailynews.lk. Daily News Sri Lanka. 8 December 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  28. ^ "MAS acquires first patent from local high-tech research institute". Dailymirror.lk. Daily Mirror Sri Lanka. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  29. ^ "SLINTEC signs agreement with British Cosmetics to engage in cosmetics research". ft.lk. Financial Times. 7 February 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  30. ^ "SLINTEC-Dynawash collaboration continues". ft.lk. Daily Financial Times. 29 November 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  31. ^ "CIC signs deal with SLINTEC for pioneering research project". dailymirror.lk. Daily Mirror. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  32. ^ a b c d e f "Research Focus Areas". slintec.lk. Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
  33. ^ a b c Karunaratne, Veranja. "SLINTEC ACADEMY Launches its MPhil degree in Nano and Advanced Technology". LinkedIn. LinkedIn Pulse. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  34. ^ "The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka" (PDF). Documents.gov.lk. The Government of Sri Lanka. Retrieved 21 September 2017.

External links[edit]