Colombo Innovation Tower to empower creative industries

Friday, 6 December 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Divya Thotawatte

Creating a platform to connect the industry, Academy of Design (AOD) recently opened the Colombo

AOD Founder and Chairperson 

Linda Speldewinde  
BOV Managing Partner 

Prajeeth Balasubramanium

Innovation Tower (CIT), bringing together start-ups, students and international knowledge experts to collaborate and design innovative solutions in diverse fields. 

AOD Founder and Chairperson Linda Speldewinde said, “We believe Sri Lanka really is an innovation island, with its high knowledge base in IT and technology, creative and design strength, coupled with its strategic geographical location with easy access to the region. Thereby, the CIT is positioned well to play this role as an innovation catalyst.” 

“Innovation is executing an idea that addresses a specific challenge and achieves value for those involved. It is more than just ideating. A new or improved process, service or product is what innovation is all about, but what is important is that innovation has an impact, is purposeful and meaningful, and most of all relevant! Actual outcomes is the only way you can distinguish between just buzzwords and what innovation really means,” she elaborated. 

Speldewinde explained that although in Sri Lanka, students had been selecting traditional education disciplines such as law and natural sciences over art and design streams, the future demanded people with mixed skillsets. She noted that even a student who would pursue traditional disciplines would later require skills in creativity and design and that companies were starting to request designers that know coding or software engineers who were creative. 

Blue Ocean Ventures (BOV) Managing Partner Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, who also delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, said that the Innovation Tower was dedicated to design, technology, sustainability, and as a location for global designers to get together. “Linda’s vision to make this happen during this time of immense change in Sri Lanka not only remarkable, but inspiring. 

We live in a digitally connected world and, the CIT fosters innovation and brings together free and out-of-the-box thinkers. It is a success which will contribute to today’s and tomorrow’s world,” he said. 

The Colombo Innovation Tower is to drive its own projects such as a material innovation project with the award winning designer Tjeerd Veenhoven and CIT Kids, where skills and knowledge in creativity, technology and sustainability will be developed from a very early age. 

The CIT is to also expose corporates and executives to knowledge and skills programmes such as CIT’s Innovation Broadcast series. 

Pix by Upul Abayasekera