Nature’s Secrets Research Award 2013

Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Recognises and rewards innovation from University of Peradeniya
Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd (NBC), manufacturer of Sri Lanka’s No. 01 herbal cosmetics brand ‘Nature’s Secrets’, strongly believes that ‘Sri Lankans can be innovative and productive’ and plays a dynamic role in uplifting and strengthening the national economy. NBC, a 100% local entity dedicated to promoting Sri Lanka’s herbal heritage has embarked on a journey to create a global herbal cosmetics brand by 2020. Their acclaimed brand is presently exported to many countries in Europe, South & South East Asia, Middle East and Oceania. Being increasingly aware of its responsibility to society, NBC has gone beyond having mere business objectives to become one of the most socially responsible entities in Sri Lanka. The ‘Nature’s Secrets Research Award’ is a concept that is aligned with their commitment to promote applied research that would be beneficial to the country. Although local universities produce a large number of scientists, financial allocations for research and development as a percentage of GDP is minute. Nature’s Secrets has raised this concern at a number of occasions with the government and relevant officials. Having its own Plant Research Centre dedicated for advanced research on medicinal plants in Sri Lanka, Nature’s Secrets decided to facilitate Applied Research with the objective of fostering commercially applicable research among local scientists. The Nature’s Secrets Research Award is a cash award of Rs. 250,000 awarded annually to the best commercially viable research project conducted at the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya. It was decided to present this award to research carried out at the said faculty as Nature’s Beauty Creations Ltd Chairman/Managing Director Samantha Kumarasinghe followed his higher education there. ‘Nature’s Secrets Research Award 2013’ was granted to the ‘Superhydrophobic, Stain-resistant Intelligent Gloves’ research project, a novel innovation in the world. The research was conducted by Professor Gamini Rajapakse and a team from the Nanotechnology unit, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya. The award ceremony was held recently at the Faculty of Science with the participation of Professor Athula Senaratne, Vice Chancellor of University of Peradeniya, Deans of all faculties, lecturers and Nature’s Secrets Chairman/Managing Director Samantha Kumarasinghe. Last year the Nature’s Secrets Research Award 2012 was presented to a research project which developed an automated tool for performance evaluation in weight lifting; a cost-effective software to help evaluate performance of Sri Lankan weight lifting athletes and help them improve on their techniques when competing at an international level. Nature’s Beauty Creations does not have any influence or decision making on the selection of a research team for the award and the task is solely carried out based upon criteria approved by the Board of Science Faculty. Criteria: The selection shall be done by a ‘Selection Committee’ appointed by the Vice Chancellor that may include the Dean of the Faculty, Director PGIS and few other members. The decision of the Selection Committee shall be accepted by all research teams and it shall not be challenged. A ‘research team’ could comprise of one or two lecturers and one or more postgraduate research students. The project shall have a maximum of six months work within the year of award. The research must be done at the Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya and it should be a commercially viable project that has been ‘accepted’ by a Sri Lankan entrepreneur for commercial application. The reward of Rs. 250,000 shall be handed over in full, directly to the research team or through the University. Any year that a qualifying project is not selected, the reward could be carried forward for a maximum of one more year.