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SLINTEC enters strategic technology development agreement with NFCL, India

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 19 March 2012 00:00

Advancing in its international endeavours, Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC) Pvt. Ltd. has entered into a strategic collaboration with Nagarjuna Fertilisers and Chemicals Limited (NFCL) of Hyderabad, India, to develop the next generation of Nanotechnology based plant nutrition solutions.

These are next generation green products aimed at increasing productivity and income for farmers and creating a sustainable business for all the stakeholders engaged in agri-business. As part of this strategic partnership Nagarjuna is purchasing the first generation of nano plant nutrition products, taking it from proof of concept to proof of value for commercialisation, and entering into a long-term strategic technology development program with SLINTEC for the second and third generation nano plant nutrition products.

The agreement was signed last week in the presence of Minister or Technology and Research Pavithra Wanniarachchi and High Commissioner of India Ashok K. Kantha.

Wanniarachchi stated, “SLINTEC is a shining example of a successful public-private partnership. A few years ago the President together with the Treasury took a leap of faith in nanotechnology. We are now witnessing the results of this foresight and vision for our country.

There is an increasing confidence among policy makers that research and development can make a significant contribution toward achieving development goals. This is clearly reflected in the budget of 2012. This collaborative venture will further enhance that confidence.”

“This initiative being taken by a major Indian company and a leading technology institute of Sri Lanka in the key area of agriculture will further strengthen the economic engagement between our two countries,” said High Commissioner Kantha.

 “Our vision is to make Sri Lanka a destination for nanotechnology research and development.  This strategic partnership with Nagarjuna Group of India, a global leader in chemicals and fertilisers, is our first step toward achieving this vision,” said SLINTEC Chairman Mahesh Amalean. “In a brief span of only two and a half years, SLINTEC has been able to attract global recognition due to its accomplishments in research of strategic and commercial relevance. This international collaboration on Nanotechnology is a testament of the talent of our Sri Lankan scientists and their passion,” said SLINTEC CEO Asela Gunawardena.

For SLINTEC, this is an opportunity to work with a global partner to take the product development journey from lab to land.  Nagarjuna Group has an extensive manufacturing and marketing network in Asia, Africa and South America and is deeply engaged in emerging technology development as a growth engine for the business.  For NFCL and SLINTEC, this is an association targeted to take technological and market leadership in the niche nano plant nutrition product space. Each will complement the other to attain market leadership through emerging technologies.

“NFCL aims at establishing a long-term business partnership with SLINTEC as an exclusive Nanotechnology research hub/facility for its Nano plant nutrition Program. We trust that, jointly with SLINTEC, Nanotechnology applications will bring a new era for smart and sustainable agriculture,” said Dr. Banibrata Pandey, Vice President and Head – Emerging Technologies Division, NFCL.

The nanoscale ‘architecture’ of the plant nutrient product developed at SLINTEC dramatically slows down the rate at which it is made available in the soil for absorption by plants following application. This allows the availability of the nutrient in the soil to be optimally matched with a rate at which a particular plant can take it up. In this way the amount of nutrient needed to obtain the same yield, for example kilograms per acre of paddy, can be significantly reduced. Wastage of nutrient, which is typically washed away, is minimised by this slow release process. Reducing wasted nutrient not only decreases the cost but it also minimises water and air pollution.  NFCL plans to build a pilot plant in India very soon, and upon the success of the development phase NFCL plans commercial production in the near future for the global market. However, SLINTEC will have the rights to commercialise the product in Sri Lanka, initially through Hayleys Agro who initiated the research at SLINTEC as a founding investor.

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